3.Avatar Review
     A Review of Poetry, Prose, and Art - Summer 2001

The Loaded Wishing Well

Poems by Janet Buck

Such a loaded wishing well—
volcanoes building sweet eruption
taming shrews of years I've missed.
I shake the copper holding tank,
these pennies saddled with their rust,
bring it down a leveled notch
to make more room for dreaming rites.
Wishes grow their roots from seeds
of aching old absentia.
Lay their eggs like salmon spawn
against the current loneliness.

Something tells me when we meet,
I'll have a mother waiting there.
That bijoux aren't just filament
or figment borne by moot desire.
We will drive a hundred hours,
swallow gravel with the air,
climb a mountain step by step.
Banking on that fantasy
these mornings under loving's quilt
will be a bridge across a river
boozing made unswimable.

I'm sketching you inside my head.
A woman with her breasts afire,
who turns the rain to summer tea,
asks me what I want to drink
and doesn't order wine with lunch,
pick at food as if its gift is matter-less.
I want to know how tables look
without a cork for centerfolds.
I want to know if rafts can float
and listen to the raging sea
without a pint of eighty proof.
I want to see if wyverns can reduce to ash
by burning down in honesty.
Perhaps, since our ghosts
aren't drunk, they will talk.

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