The striped shirt drying
on the patio chair—
you can say he wore
when a man has selected himself to live longest of all
there will still be a fleet of Cadillacs to come for him in the night
self-driving from their garage
It is difficult reading today
Or doing my volunteer work at the hospital or reading.
Do you have anything unbelievable that you have read twice?
Pink Jackie’s back in the car.
The shot, the slump, the gore.
The sky’s a murky green. You stop the car
in heavy rain to take my hand and pray.
Is this a truce? An end to civil war?
It can be laughable
to stand in a room
and not know why
you came in there,
Hey you, untrue god, fiscal man,
futile man, sour young cad; hey,
yahoo, seducer, family gun nut,
G. C. Waldrep
i.m. Mahmoud Darwish
I went into the desert for the velvet flesh of two white fish.
And when the heat of the desert was withdrawn from me
Oh friends I am a prison to all that lies within me.
It burns the way phosphorus burns. It bears the raven’s flag
into the ragged country called by its natives Los Arpas.
The moon dragged her string-net bag of shadows through the boughs
My long shadow paces and the skreak of gulls
hauls evening down and furls it along the edge of the lake.
They are the colors/of my dead father’s Lenten chasuble,
and I think of our friend Greg.
Hannah Louise Poston
She reconstructs her ruptured orange peel
while telling me about the fancy meal
It’s come unlatched, the sloppy silk fist
unhinging like a jaw as if
to swallow something bigger than itself—
During a time of great need
we came easily
under the influence of light–
Along the coast of perpetual breezes
I lay myself down. Half-light slowly
all the way, like the lid of the earth twisted off.
Full contentment may be possible
You’ll be among the first
to know. You will. You’ll see:
waddling like an emperor’s obesity
ahead of you, sunrise, the future.
Oops, hit the skid rind, cruel world
slipped a corkscrewy peel
We’ve been reading dirty
books, the kind with scurf
in their spines, cracking
their backs over my bed
This is where a hotel used to be.
Neon made the gin a sea-breeze blue,
Just as if Korea never happened.
The cloudburst leaves a brown meringue,
a kind of foamy candy on
the pool below the culvert where
the runoff plunged headlong to whip
On a black cloth, a line of chalk
Marks the course my scissors must follow.
And cursed be sexton, parish clerk,
Or any man whose dirty work
Disturbs my poor dust where it lies.
I’ll see you, though through other eyes.
An oval mirror that could fit in a child’s hand
from a pocketbook of her mother’s
for the pond beyond the door
Deplete the ascent, carving up your arms,
Returning flirty glances with the windows.
A film will attend this so don’t bother,
I stood on the bridge in the sky on the bridge between
Two buildings at the second floor but in
Between the buildings so in neither one
We were alive together once.
I thought it was that way from the beginning
of time. And I sang
my songs for him, and he rocked,
squeezing and pulling the accordion in his lap,
while his eyes glistened, shining.
A slight wrinkle
Here I heard them. Here the big rocks.