Blackbox Manifold

Issue 11: Burgess Needle

White Hot, Cool Blue

Looking down from space

on southwest highways

through the lens of infrared

cameras the hottest asphalt

is white hot

bordered with reds and yellows

barely moving intertwined bodies

pounding sand show everything

except citizenship

all silhouetted clear white

fallen branches appear

cool blue on the perimeter

tulips and roses bloom

forever and the dead

sycamores are bluer

in death than ever in life

My Stars

after i was shown the pointer stars

i never lost north again

enthralled by cold galaxies

I knew the only

sensations they offered came from

a scorpion’s sting, a bear’s claw

or an up-turned dipper of dark matter

until finally at three-score and ten

i finally saw the truth

of my own star jasmine

here in Tucson swirling up

a few four-by-fours to my warped

ramada strewing their white design

and perfume in abandon

turning clockwise as

some jasmine helix i visit

nightly beneath a full moon

thrusting my face into their wonder

of green and white I merge and climb

with them higher and higher until

finally I look down from the seven sisters

down past tree tops and roofs

to my yard and my own constellation

called the sweet jasmine cluster

visit me unannounced and I shall

take you to a place your senses

will never forget the hot and rich

steaming soil from which

the roots draw life and color

Burgess Needle’s second collection of poetry, THAI COMIC BOOKS: poems from my life in Thailand with the Peace Corps: 1967-1969, was published by Big Table Publishing in 2013. More information may be found at: His poems have appeared in Decanto, Nutshell, Under the Radar and Of Zoos. His fiction has most recently appeared in Connotation Press.