What is it about electricity? At the door, 

a moth bangs himself senseless

to get at it.  In bed, it’s the measure 

of fate:  low-watt, halogen, 

fingers releasing the high beams.  

If you’d asked, I’d have traced your skin 

in neon, let its heat singe my signature.

And aren’t we all waiting for it—

an illumination anchored

to our bodies, weighing us down

even as we lift from the ground.





There is a cup;

there is a woman holding the cup

and a bee swirling down its white walls

toward a slick of sugar and brown. 

At the counter, there is commerce 

and in the far back, a hand sunk 

into dish soap and grease, cigarette ash

christening the suds.  She only thinks

of the luck:  Everything, there, 

pooled, and it hovers, hesitates, 

as if the bottom of the well 

were not worth the sinking. 

With a flick, she caps the cup 

with saucer.  Let it find itself 

ankle deep now, she thinks, 

looking for the first time 

toward the street, the man passing, 

a whole afternoon and she uncaps

the cup to find a drunk fly, 

wing-heavy with sweetness, 

whom she nudges to the side

and then drinks what is left and leaves.




Suzanne Parker is a winner of a Kinereth Gensler Book Award, and her collection of poetry, Viral, is forthcoming from Alice James Press in 2013. Her poetry has appeared in Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Rattapallax, and numerous other journals, and she is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Suzanne’s creative non-fiction is published in the travel anthology Something to Declare by the Univ. of Wisconsin Press. Suzanne directs the creative writing program at Brookdale Community College in NJ. She also helped found and teaches workshops with the Uptown Writers Group.