Issue 9 :: Summer 2007 
Avatar Review

Sean Cooke

Fear Up

The night air was soft
humid and still.
Looking up
I saw the moon
a sliver of pale porcelain
wreathed in silver.
Eight men lay in the dust at my feet.
puzzles for me to unlock.
I took the youngest first.
He would be my key.
I grabbed him by his robe
and lifted him off the ground
in one clean jerk.
He started to cry.
He called for his father.
The men around me laughed.
I marched him quickly
lifting him
until his toes
skipped along the concrete.
I hustled him down the corridor
into a room at the end.
we were alone.
I put him against a wall
and stood back.
His breath came in ragged gasps
and his head was
twitching back and forth
in anticipation
of blows that never came.
I begin to whisper
in his ear.
he told me everything.

My Sailboat

Perched on a concrete rooftop
with a cigarette dangling
from the corner of my mouth
I look to the west
and watch the sun
sinking into the palm trees.

With fingers baked dry and rough
I dig into my dirty pocket
and pull out a wallet.
Brown leather stained white
from my sweat.

It opens with a raspy
papery complaint.
I begin my search.
It’s not money I’m looking for
and after a moment
I pull out a worn photograph
torn from the pages
of a forgotten magazine.
I unfold it carefully.
It’s seen better days.
For just a second
I lose myself completely
in the image.

A blue boat
with pure white sails
plowing through the crest
of an emerald green wave
spray blasting
into the dark blue sky.
The crew is dressed
in bright red jackets
and brilliant smiles shine
on every suntanned face.
For that one second
I am there with them
face stinging
from the cold salt air.

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