A-C Bird Jazz

"Naked with Summer in my mouth."
                                --Al Purdy

Strangled whirling of a whistle
           bird of metal
electric, vent trapped
           Freon controlled
it twirls a cool whiff
           in my barren office
summer in my mouth
           reprieve against the heat
my hair, wet
           capping my skull

To breathe here
           in tinglings
to the very end of my skin
           tremolo shrills in the unit
feel me naked
           against the cold sung air
throated out
           in stuttering chirps
the thermostat cuts off

standing up in front of the A-C
           my body
one block
           over 70% humidity
isotope sweat/water
           archeologists will date us
with carbon 14
           by a trace of breathed freon
death ferments
           laced with ammonium and lead.



It ripples, sputters and yellows,
laughter in the sizzling oil
seasoning food and pan
deep in the cast iron
as the fragrance opens its pores
throughout the house.

The garlic squats on the shelf,
closed fist of a tight bulb
wrapped in silk paper.

You hold it by the head
and tear off a first clove
that flakes silver petals.

You pull each rib off this plenteous madame.
Uncorsetted, she leaves you with nothing
but a dry stem from an unassuming shoot.

You lay some sixteen teeth on the cutting board
ready to bite a dead kiss.

Jean-Mark Sens was born in France and educated in Paris. He taught English at the University of Mississippi and holds degrees in English from the University of Southern Mississippi, and Paris VII university, and an Associate in Science in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales. He has published poems in various magazines in the U.S. and Canada, including International Poetry Review, Xavier Review, Painted Bride, Whiskey Island, Ariel, Descant, CV2, Queen's Quarterly, Zygote, Mississippi Review, and Weber Studies.