2 November 2007 | Vol. 7, No. 3
Bad mood and bad dog and bad luck like
my broken neck or heart or head
playing out so much bad weather
like kinked yarn unraveled by a bad
black cat, which summons luck again,
that diffident lover half-
naked in the dark. To her
I walked beneath one thousand ladders
over miles of bad road
ribboned with bad directions.
Which wasn't as bad
as I thought it would be.
My bad ear pressed to the powdery wall
behind which strangers
badly performed their bad sex,
their bored flesh
nothing like the paleness of tulips
in the heat of Alabama
or the severed second
in which our voices sunk
from the bad phones we carried with us.
Across that bad connection,
the bad things compelling us
to speak out, to end up, to say
even now my skin flecks away.
Like paint applied
badly, quickly to cover
some previous horror,
some bad end solved badly,
the evidence lost,
thrown out, awarded to the jury of dust.
But I said it wasn't so bad.
And it wasn't.
There were days when knives of noon light
sliced the sky apart like tangerines.
And there were hours
and words amounting to consolation
and entire towns
ripe with welcome,
surrendering their thousand mirrors,
their seven long years.
About the author:
Paul Guest is the author of The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World, winner of the 2002 New Issues Prize, and Notes for My Body Double, winner of the 2006 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. His chapbook, Exit Interview, is available from New Michigan Press. Visit his blog.