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March 20, 2017 Poetry

Two poems

Emily Pinkerton

Two poems photo

Levels of the Game

Cards out. Like knives to cut
what we cultivated in winter
exchanges of oranges and stories
the others, in and out of the frame.

I never really know a man
until I’ve seen his bare back.
I pretend I've never noticed yours,

The ways we’ve sweat together
without touching. That night in June.
That night in July. That day in August

and the night that followed. Coming
together, backing away. Returning
That day in March. That night in April.
That other night in April. I know.

The fear of what’s at stake
in an honest loss. The pull.
The leaning forward, and


West Oakland Station, 7:29pm

The junkyard dogs below
stand like mythic creatures
Dobermans bred big, eating
from a brushed steel bowl.

In the distance, the cranes stand at attention.
Iron and flint in the sunset, watching the port
in stillness. The train chews a whining line
through the thick fog, and we chase the sunset home.


image: J. Ray Paradiso