Cliff Saunders is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Mapping the Asphalt Meadows (Slipstream Publications) and This Candescent World (Runaway Spoon Press). His poems have appeared recently in The Midwest Quarterly, Book of Matches, The Wineskin, Monterey Poetry Review, New Feathers Anthology, and The Flatbush Review
WHEN THE SPIDER OF LOVE DROPS BY
I think of love, how it should be drowned like a spider in a drop of water.– – Maria Flook
On dark nights love beckons from its web of silence with eyes open to the world. It looks like a control freak, a furry grim reaper with a taste for insects. Spinning with the wind, it knows how to swoop over mailboxes with a silky feel, a priest that can’t be ignored. You name it Ballet Dancer, Mythological Witch. Under your nose it keeps casting its net of predation. Now love waits by a bridge for a little rain to fall on its web. The spider needs that water to heal its fangs or it becomes a sad reminder of love in the belly of a drop.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
i. Herman, the test-tube stud who feels no pain, should be denied his delusions of martyrdom. When he talks, eggs wobble. ii. Keeping it simple, Cathy lives in a lighthouse full of red sea turtles. She loves it. She whips a victory cigar at the front door and shrugs. iii Wearing a mask of light, Barry unleashes a life of transparency but does nothing to keep the canary from opening its plastic house. iv. Wanda frequents an ice-skating rink for professional clowns. In her English class, she wants to know what isn’t broken. She’s in love with the meaning of trees. v. Oscar feels lonely and frustrated. He’s hung like a horse but hungers to dance across the cosmos until it hurts. He’s a rag in the pocket of connectivity. vi. Anna’s hummingbird, weird and riveting as it nears her sled, has never been more relevant. To save money, Anna plans to burn her father’s anger in the garbage. vii. Six typing monkeys make a mess as Michael approaches the pine tree of unconditional love. Soon he will pursue the small point of no return.
A rainbow slowly takes root in the grass. O machete of color! O exotic bird dodging a sun blind to irony! Like the world it digs into, the rainbow wrestles with death and the urgency of life. It’s definitely harboring pain, severely disappointed and frustrated by a rain changing from red to green.