Simeon Berry

The Stubble Festival

follows the corn

So families have

something to do

Other than stare

at the wrecked fields

as if they had been

wronged by them

The men gather

in embarrassed aprons

around the meat

overcooking into gray asteroids

on the grill

They stare

Radioactive with loneliness

Into the glowing tubes

of sausages

as if they

could predict

which house will be


Which will become

bare as a chicken bone

Scraped down to the marrow

I sidle up near Billy

on the fringe

Close to his atmosphere

of tar and roofing nails

I have a thing for him

For the charged hypodermic

in his sock drawer

pushing air

I like cautionary tales

I like the way he twitches

all over

at the percussion

of the sprinklers

puckering his t-shirt

Like an animal

As if he weren’t


in Da Nang

on our backyard grass

among the concussed glow

of the lighting bugs

failing to find their mark

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