Heave

Meet me in the lacuna —
poaching light with orchids, salmon
and that fraction of floor dismantled
right before your eyes, four square. I am (you are)

The chasm and trail, the thin-walled
cleft of a swallow’s tail. I am (you are)
the father before us and the hymn
before he — all measures of birds

and old songs sung before the sun
saddened the rise. Squat. He commands.
No musing on noon, just cavernous moonlight
in boxes scant against the nature of things.

I am (we are) as much as not — the arc
in our Belvederes wrapped about a spindle,
uncooled and elastic — elegy to a shivved dog,
still a dog, though the flesh presumes otherwise.

Crows take the bits left behind, like our
mother’s back hand, like swallowing
grist for a pittance, like our brothers humping
fists another night in the bunks above.

I am (you are) your sister’s black eye, and the lie
never told, subcutaneous and blue,
wile from her lips comes with a whimper
of coursing into a doorknob, too

The husks of a million flies on a hot sill,
mortared and pestled to dust and pigments:
garments and oil spent less on fuel, more on fire.
But I am a liar, yes, you are — a liar.

And all that remains hidden, up there,
up there in the heave and the heaven scent —
I am and I do and conspire to rend this space for pennies,
to carve up rooms into vestibules and dead-ends
canvassed with ghosts and connivance. Run with me then.

Rip through the curtain with your shins, it folds
in behind like a lesion, like a legion of lesions
and lessons unlearned — lateral, like a twitched wand
and gilded — lilywhite and deplored. Then there,

Once through and hummocked in the borderlands,
released from our thin and flaking brick,
three leas from the causeway, true there, our un—
and tyrant selves deposed for a flicker of gaunt,

Tricked out and wary in the grass, bluffed up.
And hared, the migrant tongue whips from the mouth,
without semblance or shame, these naughts,
seltzered as fog and thickened, carouse —

We dance, we wrestle and preen.

Image: Jan Canty on Unsplash

Published in Oracle Bone — Issue 1, Spring 2021, available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08XLGJN1Y/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1614452888&sr=8-1

5 Thoughts

    1. Thank you, MS. Oracle Bone is a new print bi-annual begun by some members of a poetry cooperative I associate with — “Skunkworks”. Their submissions window is always open and they are looking for challenging material. Perhaps your friends at D’Verse might enjoy ganging up on them. lol. https://oraclebone.press/submit

      D

      1. D, what I would suggest you do is participate in a dVerse prompt and link it up to Mr. Linky. At the bottom of your entry put a short blurb like (what you say above would be perfect.) It’s the best way I can think of to make sure people see it *and* get a chance to read your excellent poetry. I’m hosting the prompt tomorrow (Tuesday) (on edges and fringes) so that would be a perfect time to do it (just sayin…)

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