Saturday, May 29, 2010

To Find Home

The trick, I am told by a man clad
in khaki armor, is to search for points of departure

and arrival. The exterminators have been around twice
this week, and the back porch has just stopped

reeking of pesticide, the unfinished wood
beneath the floorboards' peeling paint

soaking in the scent. The winter months expanded
the water in everything––the house groaned bloated,

unhappy to have taken in so much––and we, too,
grew beyond our patient domesticity, flaking off

in brittle sheets. After the eruption
of summer, everything emerges unsteadily. Even the wasps

wander the windowsills, the sidewalk cratered
with abandoned anthills. The exterminator tells me

it takes the lazy not-looking of an optical illusion to see
where the trouble originates. On this first

ninety-degree day of summer, a nail swelled out
of place catches between my toes, and the corpse

of the overstuffed couch that breaks my fall
buzzes angrily from inside.

Join the circus:

Friday, May 21, 2010

What Began as an Apology

I summed you up
                in ten pages, as many
                secondary sources, your craft
                synopsized, an A-grade term paper,

but I am unsure
                of what to make of this
                moment: the particular purse
                of your lips, the over-emphasized syllables

made monstrous
                by microphone,
                some proof that you––
                like the rest of us––squint unflatteringly

under the wide-
                eyed spotlight. You pause
                and the static makes the sound
                of flowers uprooted from soft earth.

Prompt via

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Sign Said

"Meet here after the apocalypse"
and I could have sworn

that the wiry flailing arms beating a circle
of drums were those damn art-house kids,

but on closer inspection from
my seat in the library

I saw they were children––not kids
in the sense of our casual dismissals, or how

you will always refer to sons and daughters––
but children, who probably don't think

about the ninety-eight percent of species
that are extinct, or how the sound of a crash

doesn't send us running until we learn
to associate destruction with tragedy.

The sign had a party hat attached
to the corner, with tassels like fireworks,

which are really just beautiful explosions.

Prompt via:

Friday, May 07, 2010

On Decomposition

His saliva drips onto my velvet lapel and though
we've been feeding him well, I'm never sure

if this time when he opens his mouth
it's just a yawn. We are all shedding

apart; my grey hairs resemble his more
each day. Even the whip sags, the old prop chair

going brown at the nails.
We're not sure what to do with him

after the spotlights close their apertured eyes
and he stands in his cage, waiting with his mouth

hinged open for hours, but we know Pride
is a word we used to be a part of.

Prompt via