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November 27, 2019 Poetry

two poems

L.R. Bird

two poems photo


but o, what of the familiarity?
of known hands learning anew?
of a bad outfit thrown off like silk?
of the easy joke of it? our names
re-translated? my gums a
sore muscle? your calves
saplings? our sweat dew?


i have dreams about you even when
you don’t spend the night. in them we spell
the hopeless towns we are from on brick
walls with crumbling chalk. in them i yell
your name and a bike-cop grabs it out
of the air and crushes it back to pulp.
in them we do not make each other sad
with how difficult we think we are to love.


o fortuitous hips
o clunky laugh
o your hair appearing for days after
o how different my ceiling looks
o each time our legs twitch against sleep
o a missed call / a hollow excuse /
a mouth-shaped bruise


ahead of me on the highway
as i'm driving to visit you

& it's not my heat to flinch from
i drive past it like any other accident

even though i can see the flames eating 
the sky in my rearview mirror

even though i saw the passengers scatter 
like memorabilia shattered

i am just grateful to not be the one breaking
i am just grateful i will get to tell you about 

this road-trip             at the end of it
but when i tell you i prayed at the altar 

of disaster that everyone would get 
to go home okay at the end of it

how Moses let the fire sweet-talk him into 
saving everything he loved / you tell me 

the explosion itself sounds impossible
            & i think maybe we do too.


image: Aaron Burch