Dry Mouth

Matthew Gellman

For once, the crickets were not faulty hinges. They carried their tune.

The moon an ersatz billboard we might have drank stolen beers beneath

at sixteen. Talking his ear off that first night, I re-appraised my old distances

like a groundhog climbing gingerly out of its gray ditch for spring.

He laughed easily and my years of mutism slackened, a frayed rope.

So began a long entrapment. I saw it, clear and sharp as gin.

Alone, walking the avenues toward him, I finally understood the sun’s fate:

orange toy dangled on a string by the hand of a dry-hearted god.