A small lake forms
in the gravel parking lot,
where late at night,
when I'm walking home from the bar,
the lonely student huddles
with his German shepherd,
whispering sweet nothings,
whispering, not tonight,
not tonight, not tonight.
I walk clear, but not so clear
as to show I'm afraid.
But they know.  They smell it.
If the dog comes after me,
I'll kick him hard in the face,
then wait to see what happens.

When the rain stops,
the inconstant drip
from the gutter
doesn't wrap the night tight
like a mother or a storm.
The feral parakeet,
burrowed in the dogwood,
writes poems to his former cage.
He will die in the winter
when the frost comes,
but lives now for the morning,
the swoop to the highest tree,
where he cackles in a crow's voice
to scare sparrows away.


The whisper of Sunday
fades to footsteps
and the distant imagined
giggle of girls.
On the unlit sidewalk
off-beat cicadas swell
--are swallowed--by boxes
of air conditioned roar
and students move like shadows
across trees.
Surely hyperbole follows me home,
turns a car's quiet passing
into a breeze,
the sound of shoes on grass.





apocryphaltext Vol. 3

Inman Majors teaches fiction writing at James Madison University. He is the author of three books, Wonderdog (Thomas Dunne) , Swimming in Sky (SMU Press), and, most recently, The Millionaires (W.W. Norton). He lives in Waynesboro, Virginia.


2 poems by inman majors