Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Bed of Victories

by Cliff Saunders

You lie on the grass on Sassafras Mountain
on a perfect day and look at a cloud
over an iconic lighthouse.
Your face has a glow that is born
out of nothing at all
except its capacity to confuse.
When spring arrives, do you go
burying yourself with yellow ribbons?
Do you hear the usual bickering
of broken-heart syndrome?
You remember planting chaos
in rooftop gardens and caressing
each bubble in sight.
Looks like you lucked out,
for a shepherd brings you
silence, and ancient dreams
melt your stress away.
In your closet is ticking
an eternity of frustration, and you
could be its big sacrifice.
When you’re smiling,
are you seething inside?
Can you hear the difference?
You are truly a piece
of instability, of this instability
that lasts four hundred years.
Your heart hurts so much
that temptation makes you cluck
like a chicken. Your nest
of tiny eels swells with emotion.
Now you watch a blossom,
its own mythology trickling into
spring like chocolate sauce.
Do you want to know a secret?
Sometimes the stork’s flight
forces you to reveal a secret.
Yes, but you consume way too much
salt, and your dog looks
pretty wet this winter.
What you need is a battle
of fire and ice. A telescope
is what you don’t need.
What you need is to forgive
your own bed its little victories.
To you it’s the perfect lake of fire,
and human cries descend 
like fire ants on its glorious architecture.


SHJ Issue 17
Fall 2017

Cliff Saunders

has an MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Arizona. His poems have appeared recently in Connecticut River Review, Five 2 One, Avatar Review, Smoky Blue Literary and Arts Magazine, and Whale Road Review. He lives in Myrtle Beach, where he works as a freelance writer.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury