Melanie Hubbard

It needs an action scene, maybe toward the middle.

It needs breakfast, preferably a prayer breakfast before its morning classes. It needs to sit quietly eating its sausage and cheese biscuit, praying.

It needs a bus. Or a bus stop and some potential passengers, a conflict, a scuffle, something we can get late at night, maybe a glowing lamppost, rain or light sleet, a basketball maybe, an orb like the moon, its shadow bouncing in the orblike confusing light, a few words, a fist.

It needs a palm tree or a radiator clanking down the hall and the dream of a palm tree. It needs a boating accident, a waterspout, something happening or about to happen—yeah, about to happen.

It needs to be stunned at the door by the comics section.

It needs breakfast cereal. I know we already went over the breakfast scene but I really think we have to zoom in on the cereal, the floating inevitably soggy but still crackling absorptive cereal, and how it starts the whole day, maybe a face in the bowl, an old face or a beleagered middle-aged male face, our hero, or maybe he’s not our hero, he’s his brother, and the sister-in-law has gone out for a long long walk with the kids, and we start there.

It needs a stethoscope and the rain in sheets.

It needs blue jeans and a barn, some huge oaks that’ve always been there, a shiny sportscar with the top down, a burning horizon. It needs corn—no, it needs sorghum, people never see sorghum. It needs sugarcane. It needs some sort of crop duster or maybe it needs fighter jets about as low as a crop duster, over the lake, the lake like an ocean or a wilderness. It needs something like that.

It needs a long stretch of dark road and taillights in the distance up ahead. It needs blinking antennae towers and a sky full of stars and an invisible river and a tree line black against a glowing black sky. It needs a truckstop and some onion rings and coffee.

It needs choppers over the jungle, landing on the pyramidal temple top, and the river winding below washed to its banks by the deafening wind.

It needs an active hayfield. It needs hectares of open pasture. It needs twine.

It needs to be reminded of its homeland and the factories spewing smoke over the savannah and the dik-dik grazing, looking up

at the approach of the documentary film crew. It needs something like that.



Are you my twin? Ball
of black bristles, stitched

mouthful of teeth
and the follicle slick of skin,

bloody peach, why didn’t I win
your cells in the early hours

of division,
or leave you waving

on the dark station platform
as I pulled away into light?

Shrewd, you smuggled
yourself aboard. You sit

rocking in baggage as I go
through my life. You float

like a snail’s eye on its stalk,
you keep time like a metronome,

you are heavy
with somebody’s memory,

you ache to be born.
A few cells, a bud—what will

propels you to grow, blind,
unseemly as a missed

connection? Fist, you
are my firstborn, and they take

pictures: how you lie
like an abandoned cathedral

outside of town, the glory of God
trapped in your milky interior.


Melanie Hubbard lives in Ruskin, Florida, with her family. Her essay on Emily Dickinson and photography is forthcoming in Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature. Catch other poems in Fence, 88, and Caketrain.


© 2007 Swink, Inc.