CONJUNCTIONS: A Web Exclusive
Three Poems

Jeanine Walker


A Door

a door slammed the door was a way home and a way out

you saw the door as a way out and you stepped out into the world of heat

I saw the door as a way home and I lay on the couch admiring the walls

you were out in the world your journey was a perilous one

a parrot parroted to me, What journey isn’t perilous? What journey isn’t rough?

you were inside a journey and you closed up your suitcase like you were zipping up your past

fear is the rumble of a feather as it falls from a bird’s nest

a feather is made from the wheels of a truck that carries promises taped up in boxes

on the couch I admired the walls and their steadfast ability to keep me from you

when I touched the wall it was a parrot asking me, What journey isn’t perilous?

I was inside and the heat was not on me nor did I have a past to enclose

the door slammed it was not you coming home nor did I expect it to be

I was on a journey within our home and it became my home


The World Became Heat

The heat sunk into us and became us.
Heat wrapped its hands around us. Heat has strong hands.
The world was on fire; the world became heat.
It sank into us and became us.

*

A world on fire burns as ferociously as a tiger’s snarl.
I’m sorry. It is the best I can come up with. I am heat now; I am fire.

The world, a fist of fire, burns within me and I speak.
The world is a fist of fire: our dictionaries reflect this.

*

What burns will not be what remains. The future is always uncertain,
but it is hot. What remains will be the fact of burning.

Future people will watch the burning from their windows
and know it is the world.

They will be burning and inside them will be fire, but not fists.


I’m Not Worried and You Aren’t Either
(What are those clouds over there?)


As the end of the world grows nearer,
We become increasingly sure that the end is not near.
We buy new underwear
And turn the heat on low. It’s clear
That we fear nothing now. We fare
Well under pressure and take care,
When released from worry, to leer
At our old habits and those who, where
They live, still hold onto them. We stare
Down dogs now because we’re
So sure we’ll remain right where
We belong, this touchless, endless place: here.