editors' select: results 1–24 of 55
I'll complain of my bones,
I think it's safe to say
and I'll worry the miles
we never drive. I'll say your name
when I shouldn't
to every door barred before us
as if you're known in Belize…
Case of ditto for eating meat.
Copper rings for arms and
Above the knee. Arm rings
Made from Elephant's teeth.
Ditto ditto for eating meat.
Lisa followed Mitchie through row after row of listing tin shacks. Puff-bellied children tugged at her hands and clothes. They stroked her white skin and made darting swipes at her yellow hair. They giggled and covered their broken teeth with dirty fingers. She emptied her pockets into their hands. She undid the clasp on her thin silver chain and dropped it in a boy's open hand. He ran off shouting, waving the necklace like a flag.
The summer I was ten we had a terrible heat wave. You could hear the transformers exploding on the other side of the tracks. Old people were dying in their sleep. Everyone was afraid the weed men wouldn't come and we would all be devoured by weeds. I had more faith. Nothing stoked the fire of a weed man's soul like a battle with the elements. I'll never forget the time I saw a weed man working in a thunderstorm, water up to his ankles, lightning felling trees a hundred yards away, and the weed man oblivious to all but the weeds.
halo of flame
is another, sudden wall. Outside the barn's
now lit follicle, you are face down
as if you had fallen without instruction.
I saw the story of a man with a condition
called the Capgras delusion who believed
all his loved ones were carbon-copy imposters.
He wasn't frightened; he didn't think his parents
were reptiles in rubber suits or Iagos…
That's when Wallace will come out of the backroom, the paint hangar, I call it. He'll wipe his hands on a turpentine rag and he'll smell like noxious chemicals. He'll give you a big grin and a waggle of his rug-like brown eyebrows. You'll like him right away because his face is cleaner than mine and he looks glad to see you. You'll expect him to ask if he can help you. He'll walk right up to you and you'll extend your right hand for him to shake. He'll put the paint rag in your palm.
Your laundry on the line like a giant, breathing beast,
like the billowing sheets above the alleys in Trastevere,
where mothers yell after their children Vieni qua! Vieni qua!
while underwear sways like language itself. Rippling and tossing…
Barefoot under a borrowed poncho, we touch
(misused synapse to misused synapse)
but wonder where are the fucking marshmallows?
And what hope does an average girl have when the gossip's
already turned her into a cold-blooded pariah, a bitch deluxe?
A spurned lover here, a few premenstrual days there and I'm
gorgonizing men in their tracks like some monster from the lochs.
One-bedroom apartments feel unnecessarily large with just one person in them. Who knows, I may be renting my own studio soon, or staying in this big apartment by myself 'til the lease runs out. But I doubt, despite what Sue may want, that I'll be getting a new job anytime soon.
Curious are the ways
holiness is achieved (that freezing
and melting point, that instant
when your perfect attention changes
and unchanges you or the world) and unforeseen
Say the black road
is a bleached crest raveling
the one distance
meant for you (all of us).
We took turns pointing at all the girls who would scream.
You couldn't watch so you smoked,
occasionally glancing up at this pirate ship.
Sometimes you feel you've a touch of the broken heart,
when the orchid of evening wilts into nighttime,
when the darkness is not yet deep.
When you are tipsy with the grief of his leaving…
So that this will seem like words between
old friends, I'll say it was painless.
And quick. I'll say it was mercy
and behind my face where I put
things like The Truth and dreams…
Bellefontaine: a town on the way to somewhere else, a place
where you run out of gas, stop to make love on a picnic table
somewhere by the wheat field—when, toward magic hour, the boy
already loaded the gun, the smell of bacon wafting outside…
comes lightly and leaves
quickly, leaves nothing
& if he died I would hold love
in the cracks below the heart, a caged
hand waiting to enfold its animal…
The little mouse has claimed the kitchen, spread out like a rind,
and under the cedar beam is you: a tent, sturdy as that—with people through the slit
that mimics a shy face in profile
determined not to full-on.
For my calling I crawl,
vermin-like, through a glade with a battalion of burnt
tanks, their guns every which-way, matchsticks.
In the big fun
disaster, I revisit every place
we loved one another and cry, I fall
asleep to the same song in the back of a Jeep
night after night…
There's a moment in every dog's life
when it surrenders its dogginess
to a greater good…
I have stood beside you, saying this, as you reach into the cupboard for another stack of dry noodles. You eat them with the dead still on, with the sticky deadness still on…