Issue 4

Both When I’m Alone and When We Both Are

 · Poetry

The bird to the pavement swoons, and, in time
cries ants. Hello to the yoga studio, 
to the paneled mirrors of practice.
But bird, you didn’t see yourself
and now you’re tree-side on the sidewalk.

And here the ladies rub on parking meters.
They jimmy in the subtle preposition of a dance.
They have fingernails and bingos in their pockets,
each fattened like a schlepped thing.
They do not see the bird, 
calamity in the window,
now out-lit by the brass and sassafras of hair.

In this intolerable community 
nothing makes hands through the fence.
I had written a letter to the lover, spilt in memory-milk.
I had nodded off to the carrier. I didn’t know 
what they meant anymore — those letters — 
as much as I wanted not to. It was commitment
that drove bubbles from mud between cinderblocks.
I was held like the skirt of a ghost in place. 
Stamen into staple.

There was the sudden desire also
of paper to be cud
and my mouth wiped an inch or two
across acanthus. I was reminded then
of a house too close to the beach. A dead fish
speaking a bobber on black water.

Says the fish: I have come from Cambodia
but I have been there,
too. Do you want to look at me? 
Pass the time?

I am uncelebrated in the surf, you know,
just cosmic fuzz stiffening to crumb — 								
And what is it but lips anyway
that take to know a person?

I then wished for a rind of purview and of chances
because I remembered the porch
and because I remembered. 

There is a conditional to the end of asphalt,
to the number of blades that equals grass. 
I said can we go in there,
but the parting was again like bubbles,
and you did not answer.
Like the bird, we would dream ourselves
beneath the bridge, but only one of us
would know which one.


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