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November 20, 2017 | Poetry

Two Poems

Lindsey Warren

Two Poems photo

Coming Back

Above Wilmington
a tearing, where the blue
really comes in, where
the houses don’t know how to yawn any louder
or how to not need my face
to tell how much time has passed.
Twilight touches a pink multiplied by a purple
in a body that is a mirror, you
are brief, you are over my shoulder.  Below us
bruised men carry the weight of train
tickets, light titles
the pavement like glass
and breath, wait.  Before you open
the door, where are those letters
I wrote when I was barefoot, when
I started to give you things, when the letters
were all circles drawn
on magpie dark.  They are my hands now,
you might see them, they take the shape
of one degree less
than devotion.  Evening sky
a new room
the color drinkable.  You catch
it in some small jar.  Forgive me for looking.


Compline:  All Souls’ Day

             for Marvin Bell

In the alley behind my cradle, heaven and earth and their stop signs read each other’s tea leaves.  I pour, I say Say when, they say ‘Round midnight, they say Ha ha.  I say this was for the blue-eyed loner in class whose hairbrush I dreamed of stealing.  They say they don’t believe me.  They tilt their cups, they turn out their pockets, only their small change gleams under the lamp post.  And just when I was about to draw a moon.  And just when I was about to ask a favor.  The kettle on the sunflower crackles a stove and the long dark night of the soul jump-ropes on the playground.  Across

the river of green lights the dragon graffitied on the bakery’s brick wall wants to draw himself a coat.  One that doesn’t stink of ash.  Please, I need those thick markers from the craft store, you know, the ones that color far away from each other; you turn the corner into golden golden golden any night, his breath bubbles up purple, greener, telling orange, pink –  I say I’ll drop everything and go.  Before bed, I take off my shirt, put my finger through the buttonhole that something sexless tried to bloom through, no one noticed.  The dragon whirls into the bathroom, babbles sparks that hiss in the toilet’s blue flower, says Tell me about this other loner you like, thinks cigarettes taste like rain and candy, knows the dust won’t give up.  I make room for him

in the tub.  My friend.  I take my vow of poverty quite seriously.  All I can give you are these feast day tales, these fingertips that touch for beads, these stars I imagine; the pumpkin patch I invited into the room.  O letters in the shapes of beasts tumbling across bedsheets.  O pennies forgotten in the neighbor’s fountain.

 

image: Tara Wray


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