Village at Noon by Donna J. G. Lee

I look at the sun by mistake
and it rolls like a fireball
down the street, a burst
of yellow. The street has been
wiped clean, and no one
walks except me. Onto
its tongue I step and it pulls me
into the square
where men are stunned
on tavérna chairs, their cigarettes
charred, their stubbled faces
red with the noon heat.
When I reach the uvula,
I peer into their throats,
into the throat of the entire village.
I smell the stale cigarettes,
step aside the coffee stains,
cough on ouzo fumes.
I hear their dirty language
and their stark remarks
as the larynx rumbles.
I want to know what lies
in the stomach of a village
but dare not leap,
nor do I slow my pace
because the entrance
is disappearing
and I need to turn
to find a way out.


DONNA LEE has poetry published or forthcoming in The Bitter Oleander; CALYX, A Journal of Art and Literature by Women; The Cortland Review; Feminist Studies; Hurricane Alice; The Midwest Quarterly; Phoebe: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Feminist Scholarship; Wisconsin Review; and other journals. Donna is a freelance editor in New Jersey.