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Jonathan H. Scott

Jonathan H. Scott would rather read than write, golf than bowl, hike than limp, and rhyme than move if forced to bust either one or the other.

Measurement By Desert Locust

for H.V.

From an infinite swarm,
catch just one;
let the remainder
measure Time—simplest
surface, simplest
counted. Hold the one
as you might hold two,
leave space to make safe
the exoskeleton,
mindful of the thorax.
These are fragile,
minus the swarm. Break
-able, snappable,
altogether divisible.
Let these units be Love
as a whole—sum of folly
per any object at hand.
But let mandible,
maxilla,
ocella, and labrum
be the very stuff of stuff. The pith,
the bark, the seed, and the Growth.
The roil, the eddy, the pool,
and the Movement.
The head, the chest, the belly,
the Locust—
caught from a swarm,
held graciously wide.

What Seemed Like Good Ideas

Karaoke at Gabe’s for the umpteenth,
singing country for Cowboys dribbling
swill on shave-nicked chins and calling
for encores.

Ordering curried fish in London first
things first, to pop off a flare for fitting
in—wincing at warm bitters and staring
whole fish in the eyes.

Pushing all-in against a sprung-eyed
geezer with seven ways of grinning,
none of which guaranteed a sure-fire
flush or higher.

Quarry dives at Warrior, skinny legs,
white and wobbling, water-painted girls
dripping mascara, quoting movies
we liked that summer. That summer in particular.

Crash course mistakes learned hard
against the Gulf Coast, knee-deep in cold
breakers, feet numb, and paper-white herons
scaring the rest of the hell out of me.

Days set aside for anticipating nights
when the kaleidoscope rattled, twisted
by unseen hands—tree branches cricketing
havoc on the stars.

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