On the Island of the Fire Eaters [have you heard about the Come-to-Jesus meeting?]

Dina Hardy


   have you heard about the Come-to-Jesus meeting?
All the truths will be told. Fess up.
Accept what has to be done to move forward. Jesus can’t come,

   he’s drunk—we’re drunk also.
Alcohol and flames, today’s milk and Oreos.

   My name is Law of Gravity.

   You are Paranoid Fantasy.

   The floor, orange sand, scorches our bare feet. Our fingers
stream through each other’s hair, we try to read one another’s thoughts by Braille,
by brute force. By the time you get this
the coals will be cold, but that won’t happen
until all the pottery has been written.

   Heard melodies cause sweat, so turn it up.


   In the distance, a storm boils. I count the number of seconds
between flash and thunder—it’s getting closer,
the distance separating Jupiter’s hands, north and south, of course,
you know what this means.
We’ve never not known fire.
You tell me you’ve forgotten the smell of snow.

   Your pipe is not soft.
We’re not being careful—the cover,
it’s torn off and we’re striking everywhere.


Dina Hardy, author of the limited-edition chapbook Selections from The World Book (Convulsive Editions), has earned fine art degrees from Pratt Art Institute and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and a Pushcart Prize nomination. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including Agni, Black Warrior Review, Transom, Lo-Ball, and Meridian’s Best New Poets anthology. She and her husband recently moved from Los Angeles to Dubai. She welcomes you to follow her observations at spfoneten.com : Dubai in broad spectrum.