The Axis of the World

The axis of the world is in your closet. It's probably a tree, but there are no leaves and so you can not see it. You only know it's there the way we know someone's thoughts just by examining his features. The grimace that precedes the compliment. The saliva on the bottom lip. And if you have no luck here, where will you have it? In the backseat, when the van makes its u-turn, the driver remembering suddenly sentences don't always mean what they say? That his wife, for instance, may have intended menace with her mention of the leotard. We are outnumbered and ultimately defeated by those who care nothing whatsoever for the niceties of geography. Who consider Tom Sawyer a myth of epic proportions. They circle the cul-de-sac at night and call out on their bull horns. Until such time as Venus wades her way into the sky. And the ringleader gets sleepy. He curls up in a station wagon, stuffs wads of cotton in his ears to keep out the sound of his accomplices muttering oaths and accusations. Discussing how they'd like to try their hand some day at topiary.