Best of the Net 2010  

Dreaming of the Castrato

Whatís missing--
not my rhubarbís skeletal jade,
not that weird

corrosion in a blue bowl
where strawberries jimmy

their black edges
back into water. This summer Iím sick

of the squash blossomsí slow machismo. So when
a Byzantine choir rises suddenly
from the garden

on the gust of voice, I turn and they drop
like yellow crabapples

to just one song:
a man-childís
cool soprano. Heís long-limbed

and smooth by my cedar fence, the fence
hemmed in eyelets and a grackleís
stray gaze.
Heís thin as if something

has sunken and left
only his larynxís pure treble

Sing me something,

I say, that will make the whole
garden flare. When his lips open

I stare, trace the skin around his blond mouthís
downy vibrations. Itís like that

moment my wet finger circles
the cut

crystal lip of a wine glass with a touch
that sets

all the ghosts singing.

- Anna Journey (from diode poetry journal)