No One Could Ever KnowNo one, not the crotchety old man across the street could know, nor His wife, or Mikala’s own father could ever know How the serpent waged war in the apex of Mikala’s seventeen year old legs, or how Alex liked to lean into a turn, almost laying down, but not quite, the kickstand kissed the ground as the engine roared through the rising speed. “Man, don’t let Mikala ride on the back of that thing!” The old man warned Mikala’s father acquiesced, Mikala had her own mind, what could he say? The sleeping serpent awoke, and slid out of its lair. Three hours later The serpent snaked through the unforgiving road, squealing and convulsing The speed climbed to 90, 95, 100, 105. Alex, did not know how one flawed move, One slight turn, Could cause the serpent to transform into a silver pinball, ricocheting between curb and median. No one could ever know how the silver pinball exploded into a thousand pieces, Metal crumbs strewn far and wide, Or how a tree limb sheered Alex’s left leg as he flew straight up through the trees His blood sizzled as it dripped from the tree branches onto the sizzling asphalt. No one could ever know how Mikala knew to leap for her life, off the serpent, body to concrete, her skin ripped and peeled, like a burnt orange, raw and red And, no one will ever know the torture of terminus, like Alex and Mikala.
~Kimberly Jo Cooley
How does it feel, Ghetto Bird, to circle over houses,
And the people who dwell within them?
Far from rare, a pest for sure,
How does it feel to be the state’s most hated bird?
How does it feel to flash your obtrusive, bright light into the window
Of a mother changing her baby’s diaper?
Or on an elderly man taking a shower?
Or on the man walking his dog?
Or on the teens in the park?
A fishbowl, a hawk
prey, victim, assailant, predator
Do you find what you seek, Ghetto Bird?
Round and round you go,
Illuminating the night’s sky with an artificial sun,
Beaming down on me, I’m caught –
Or so I thought.
You demand “stay inside!”
Describing the alleged and their clothes,
And their race.
Take flight, Ghetto Bird,
Go home, you’re not wanted here,
God speed and Good night.
~Kimberly Jo Cooley