Five Poems by Joan Colby


The Lazy Eye


The lazy eye slides inward

Learning to see aslant.

A nuanced vision where no surprise

Is unwelcome.

The solution is correction,

The black patch of piracy to foster

The greed of binocular conviction.

The cross-eyed attitude

Of a seeker disturbs the scenery.

If that’s a resolution, show me

Where the borders of good luck

Are fenced-in barb wire

Where the children on the roofs

Of cattle cars cling to a

Blistered landscape unfolding

Before their eyes.



Eating Habits


The Faroese love rot.

They hang the lamb until

It is marbled green

As a countertop. A block

Of ruined veins. Fermenting

Everything is their cuisine

Along with kelp and puffin eggs.

These islands claim more sheep

Than men.

In the Congo, bushmeat is ordained

To tease the appetite. The Bander-Log

Hullabaloo of monkeys. Skulls sliced

For cups to hold palm wine. A dish of brains

On banana leaves. It’s said this is how

Ebola spreads or HIV.

The Japanese prefer fish raw.