The Manchester Review
Rodney Jones
Four Fables Set in The Shawnee Hills
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Black trumpets, whale-colored
pamphlets, or shingles, or ears,
bookmarks of the netherworld,
breakfast food of the box turtle.

For a long time, I could not find
them, hovering just above them
the way a boy will hang all night
over the enigmas of geometry.

And then I saw them risen
in clusters on the mossy rocks,
firm and articulate, as when first
translated from the original rain.

Bat wing, toad mask, vole shield:
they turn darkly in the alchemy
of the skillet—in the mouth,
they transmit a tenuous signal,

a hint of perfume, but musical—
songs with morals, light things
broadcast before the planetary
news on the underground station.