can resist the ideal, clouds floating
in an endless sky, fragrance of orange blossoms
wafting at a perfect wedding?
in an Arm & Hammer logo
there's illusion of perfection:
Smithy's rolled up sleeve's ideal biceps.
to show such rounded muscles the wrist
must be twisted clockwise forty-five degrees.
Then Smithy's hammer wouldn't hit any anvil,
strike his unsuspecting navel, that knot
tying him between the unimaginable
worlds of pre and post existence.
the perfectly practical umbilical cord,
once cinched into a bloody knot, reminds
us how little we know the ideal,
even a flattened balloon
of cast off placenta had once
been an ideal web of wisdom,
exact map of the precise world
that must circle perfectly
like a snake swallowing its own tail.
Page's poems have appeared in some hundred reviews, including
The North American Review, The Southern Review, Southwest
Review, Ploughshares, The Literary Review, and Mississippi
Review, and in numerous anthologies. His work is forthcoming
in Sewanee Review, Writers' Forum, Potpourri, and elsewhere.
Page retired from the Creative Writing Faculty at the University
of Memphis, where he occasionally returns to teach and was
Founding Editor of River City.