ROOTED TO THE SPOT IN WHICH I DON'T APPLY
She wears summer, a bird
on her clavicle, and combs
the day thin with rowdy
arms. Triangular and sailing,
she unlocks the pages of distance.
Pipers mobile her solitary umbrella.
How she stays when a storm turns
over the bay. The slow knife,
the kiwi, and the rubber band wrist.
Lightning pings, clouds change gowns.
Warning pulls the plug and the sand drains
of goers. How she remains,
silent and right, her face
lit by the sun’s slow soap.
Patrick Culliton lives in Chicago. His poems have appeared, or will soon, in Coconut, Conduit, The Hat, The Journal, jubilat, Rabbit Light Movies, Third Coast, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a 2009 Individual Artists Fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council. He teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago and has a chapbook forthcoming from Octopus Books in Spring 2010.