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November 28, 2012 | Poetry

Two Poems

Katie Jean Shinkle

Two Poems photo

 

Emergency

Arm-in-arm, I forgot
               what the city looks like from a helicopter,

what the city looks like in the middle of winter during the middle of the night,
               do you remember

in the middle of the street and what I am saying,
               what shape is this, and you hold it up, prism—

what does the city look like
when the middle of the sky opens,
what is beyond that, tell me, what are we looking for, don’t die right now
               this view is worth every single

               and it is snowing and I forgot what the Earth’s axis says: Yes (at all times),
               Yes, whatever the circumstance, Yes, I forgot to tell you, Yes.

 

Polaroid of a Ghost

(for Q)

Wrists bound to the four-post bed, photograph,

               as if you can say you have seen this before,
                             do you remember, where do we know this from?
               the composition, you say, the colors, look

at the way the elbow drapes forward, how we can’t see the face,
               how the knots are so fluid, how will she ever escape?

So many animals that live where we live, do you know, we could die here.

When you build a house, what do you begin with but design?
                              Here are five ottomans I love, put your feet up
                                             Stay for the wall patterns, stay for the universe.

Wrists bound to chair legs, upside down,
today you called and I wasn’t there
but I was there/I didn’t want to answer
you called so many times/there goes the line.

Plaid shirt under sweater and I want to break the brown wooden
buttons of your chest with my teeth, I say, you say.

image: Andromeda Veach


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