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October 18, 2012 Poetry

Three Poems

Joshua Helms

Three Poems photo


Our legs are stilts. Beyond our ankles
are the blunt ends of crutches. Our feet
are missing. But our hands are fine,
Boy says. There’s a rope suspended
between our bodies. Our wooden knees
are disappearing. In dirt. In asphalt. In sand.
It changes. Branches held aloft, moss
tonguing our shoulders. Houses on either
side, miles of chainlink mixed with picket
& punctuated by light poles. An ocean
with its margin specked by snapped shells.
Boy asks me what I feel like doing
& before I answer his stilts are discarded
in the shells. His body disappears
& reappears in the green of the ocean. 



The trees in our backyard are blooming

bullets. All these copper-coated

bits of lead thud the grass & Boy is the grass.

He wakes up with bruises & counts them

in the bathroom mirror. I tell him

I can’t see anything. He says right here &

here & here, his last jab surrounded

by a web of freckles. For a moment

Boy seems like a child. For a moment he is.



Boy is a lamp & I’m the wooden table
beneath his body. Somebody keeps setting

a drink on me without using a coaster.
Boy’s left on for so long his mouth is

on fire. When he’s turned off & somebody
sleeps, my wood starts to settle. Boy’s wire

relaxes against my back. In the dark
somebody can’t find Boy’s switch. In the dark

somebody forgets where its glass of water
is exactly. I absorb the liquid & a small

section of me warps beneath Boy’s wire.


image: Andromeda Veach