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July 12, 2019 Poetry


James McKenna

Understall photo

Swans, in orbital silence, garble questions, one after the other.
Your feet try to pace an answer back. You walk how clouds
move, noticeable only in increments, only upon
return. Still, you have rushed your way
to him, the unlit public restroom forty-nine degrees
& dropping, you spread your legs over the piss-slicked tile
for a stranger resting on all fours, car parked
with the engine running, he crouches down for you
to enter, you press your face against the night-dank metal,
you think about the swans, but please, remember: this is falling
to your knees, this is ghost prayer, & you will confess
each shivering sin of your want into his wet, disappearing mouth,
& as though it were contrition, you exit first. You do not look behind you.
The swans much louder the distance home, they were asking what his hands
would be like. There isn’t much to say, you explain, except that there were
fingerprints. As there always are, have been, will be.



image: Doug Paul Case