Borealis by William C. Blome

photo of girl with dark hair covering her face

“Girl with Black Hair Wearing a Key Necklace” (image via Flickr user Image Catalog)

The Indian girl in the bright green dress from down, down Madras way;

the Indian girl with an overbite, hairy arms, and brassy coins;

the Indian girl who’s somewhat tiresome at the zoo

with her “let’s-stay-here-till-closing-time” chant

in front of the great sandbox turtles and a rhino call home; oh

the Indian girl whose voice seems worth in the neighborhood

of a dozen waterfalls; and the Indian girl whose omnipresent odor

recalls accounts of panic in the holds of warships ablaze

in some Norwegian harbor long ago—well, she first viewed

the northern lights arm-in-arm with a well-hung Angolan,

his black fingers just under her waistband,

his lips pursed to suck on stuff ripe and citrus.

William C. Blome writes poetry and short fiction. He lives wedged between Baltimore and Washington, DC, and he is a master’s degree graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. His work has previously seen the light of day in such fine little mags as Poetry London, PRISM International, Fiction Southeast, Roanoke Review, Salted Feathers and The California Quarterly.