Poetry from Web Del Sol

The Poetry of Joan Houlihan

Nothing Else But You Will Do

With your trail of powders and devil shoes,
with a mill for hard and a bowl for spills
you're everybody's glamour rage
you're doom on a cracker with a dark red brew.

Crooked and flamed, broken-mother
chained, with bad and uncertified stare,
you were never chinked up in a family fence
you were free—something wrong

and against. Now you're everybody's
take-me-home, black cuffs and fine
wreck of silks. You make us feel
we've been swabbed down, needing

a borrow of light. You're everybody's
air and spark. Nothing else but a lightning
bite. You've got wit, grit, and a tail to be lit—
the blade, the heel, and the screw.

Nothing else but you will do.
Not Little Sir Charm and his Finger Box.
Not Mistress Up-to-the-Sky.
Not Papa Spew and his Bundle of Blue.

You got everything and more
and we want to be like you—
in this hatched-out drone of our insect hour;
in this cruel box of our days.

          First published in Fine Madness