Shali Nicholas

The Fog Has Moods

The fog has moods
that I tiptoe quietly through.
It rolls in thin and laughing,
tumbling over itself,
a mean edge to its saunter,
begging for play, but canyons
lay still, too frightened
to respond. Rejected,
it sits heavy and brooding,
hiding things in its pockets,
a boulder, a fox, the red
warning of a street light.
Finally it weeps under
its own weight, tiny circles of
tears bubbling up on its skin
like a burn.

When we are sad

Gene Louise and I walk/scramble to the lake.
We sniff urine, dandelion fluffs, that stupid stray
cat, the rotting corpse of a fish and someone
somewhere is grilling steak. We curse them
and their happy, Laissez-Faire life. We want to
chase egrets but all we can find are ducks. We
dig holes for strollers to stumble into. We discover
two tennis balls (one neon orange, one bleached
a beige) that have sat on the shore since
our last visit. Poor tennis balls. We cautiously
lap the water. Sand-coated and sun-warmed,
we finally make our way back home, pissing
on everything along the way.


Shali Nicholas is a student in the MFA program at Cal State San Bernardino. Nicholas lives and teach in the San Bernardino mountains for Rim of the World School District.