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July 15, 2016 | Poetry

Two Poems

Anna Deem

Two Poems photo

Dibs

In Chicago, we use dibs to take
ownership of what we will never own.
Traffic cones, rusted patio chairs, strollers,
a pair of orange Home Depot buckets.
Flanking the concrete.  We judge our marks
of home.  Please pay rent

with no fixed address.
You stay here, you do not live.
Passing apartments paralyzed
in boarded-up
BED BUG REMOVAL
(773) xxx-xxxx
Four by fours will let us know
that vacant means whoever
can get here first.

You tell yourself
home can either be
one bus or two buses
away,
depending on where you were
kicked out of the night before.
You live here, but you do not stay.


Mosaic

Parquet angles give you a
herringbone to hang
yourself, on nights when
everything smells like
smoke.

We can't put out fires without
producing plasma, without
lying to ourselves. Without--
without breaking off
our fingernails and listening
to them bend and split and crack

open

doorways give you an excuse
to pull your Midwestern skin so tightly.
I can cut acrylic across hairs and sweat
ducts. Felt tip forged capillaries
in motion. I can turn you into parchment.
It was never like this before.

 

image: Aaron Burch


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