Waxing or Waning, We Didn’t Know We were stirring pitchers of juleps. The hummingbirds were sparring. Poverty dawned on us. I said if hummingbirds were as big as poverties, we’d all be sipped through the beaks of plantation owners who loll on their porches in the closed books of historical libraries. Have you seen how that trembling bullet pauses to swallow? Aren’t we all sugar and water, mostly. I heard the hunger of hummingbirds swooping for our pocketbooks. I felt preyed upon in the nicest way, like it’s either that flicker of a bird or me that’s going to drop out of a sky that I don’t even know I’m flying in. The Ride Is this car I’m in a Saturn? It makes me want to orbit something. I think we are being orbited by that bird. What could that train be carrying at this time of day? Probably something emotional, like baseball cards and cassette tapes – things we keep in our attic. It’s so tempting to get out of this car. I feel like I have mail. I feel like there’s a department store that just got a shipment of pewter finches. And also bags of colored feathers. And Mylar balloons! Recordings of our voices when we were children. Greeting cards with real handwriting, saying things like, There is nothing you could ever do to keep mefrom loving you, and, Happy Month-iversary! and, I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings. I’m sorry if I hurt your foot. No, I’m sorry if you think your foot is hurt, and I’m sorry that you think I hurt it. I was just driving around town looking for a Kentucky Derby party. I don’t even think I saw you in the parking lot. I wish I were hungrier, but I also wish I were a tiger. Shaking Hands That day at the tracks, the men outran the horses. I saw a fashion designer tell a policeman what to do. I saw ladies looking at other ladies in compact mirrors. Stallions kicked up clouds of face powder. Why? Because the day was designed by a famous man and assembled by construction workers who shower after work. A tweed suit shook a doorknob like hand. A door mistook a woman for a wall. A woman opened her blouse in front of a window. She pretended nobody was looking. Nobody was looking. Elizabeth Hughey is the author of Sunday Houses the Sunday House (University of Iowa Press) and Guest Host (forthcoming from the National Poetry Review Press). She is a contributing editor at Bateau Press and a founder of the Desert Island Supply Co., a free creative writing center for kids in the Birmingham area. New poems can be found in American Poetry Review, 27 rue de fleures and the White Whale Review. Elizabeth lives with her husband and two sons in Birmingham, AL, where she teaches creative writing and yoga.