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August 7, 2019 Poetry

three poems

Justin Lacour

three poems photo

Dear Naomi,

Please find enclosed some clippings from the local fishwrapper.  I’ve underlined the juicy parts in blue pencil.  It’s complete kleptocracy down here.  You were right to leave.  I can’t handle the crowds at Mardi Gras anymore; every year, middle-aged Rex takes a debutante queen, as if their union is supposed to restore fertility to the land.  When I think of our all-night conversations on the levee, you standing between the treetops and the moon, the image is so fantastical I might as well paint it on the side of my van.  What’s new?  The homeless man on Carrollton has acquired a golf club.  My lawn is finally about to die; it’s a relief actually.  I wish there was more to tell.  They say Lightnin’ Hopkins could write blues about anything he saw, that Harry Smith ended up just taping random noises.  I wish I was useful like that.  You’re right to keep your letters on the level of trees and rain.  I should’ve started there.  The trees here are empty, our sky the color of an old stone. 


Day before the election

This ocean is completely fucked.
I’m sorry to tell you.
At least today, the waves still 
come in cartoonishly big,
like the foam would turn to fingers,
hurl a small boat (or whatever)
towards the shore, towards us.
If my son was here, I’d tell him
this is the edge of the known world,
instead of a beautiful place to smoke.
My goodwill coat flaps flagrantly in the breeze.
No word for what the clouds are doing right now.
I have loved you the way one would love
a nest of flowers and scars.

Monthly Report

I should mention the woman at the bus stop 
across the street with a white trash bag between her legs, 
like she’s hatching an egg.  
The way the sun sets on the office of the hearthrob dentist.  
The sound of my stomach shrinking to a dark seed.
Half the time, I thinkI’m an animal 
made mostly or entirely of teeth.  


The bartender won’t meet our eyes since she got pregnant. 
She worries about us now; we belong to her.  
It’s like that fairy in the Nutcracker who lifts up her skirt 
and it turns out there all these children hiding there
all along and she didn’t know.    
That’s us; the children, sitting, waiting for
our mother to open her eyes. 


image: Aaron Burch