Two Poems

Two Poems



Sometimes the ivy on brick buildings sways like
underwater kelp forests and the sun tickles my back and
I think that maybe I am not placeless. I am not empty or

Door slams. Bells. Sink running. Another door.
It’s my parents’ anniversary and they fought over lamb chops.
Today I thought I could just give up and get married.

Pink tufts of flower heads. A girl scratching her knee.
I kept thinking of you whenever someone passed my window.
I kept thinking of 14th Street and the ear infirmary and

the Crocodile Lounge and the screams we’d hear at night.
I want to scream into the ocean like a child. I want to pick
apart lobsters and lick the green gooey stomach bits. I want
to tear into

everything’s insides. Black socks. Sunlight. You ask me how
to die well and I ask for you to shrink me down and pocket
me before wading through kelp forests warm and dead and



A man sits next to me
on a park bench.
I cannot tell if
he’s talking to
or talking to
someone on the phone.
Twenty-two years
old and she’s dying.
He smells of whiskey.
Go into the heart . . .
and the heart blows.
An ant crawls into
a cigarette
and doesn’t crawl back out.

I woke in the night and you had your arm raised high in the air, mid-sleep. In the morning, I couldn’t tell if it was you who was dreaming, or me.

Hazel jumps
on a trampoline listing
the names of her future
daughters telling us
how she won’t need a
husband or wife—the
doctors will put the
babies right inside her.
After she’s popped out four, she’ll
open a frozen yogurt shop and all
of her daughters
will help with the scooping.

Everyone in the garden, and
I can’t stop thinking of
Georges Seurat.

I dreamt we were living together. We had this dark and tiny room and I was so happy. We bought a Russian Wolfhound and delighted in its beauty. We were filled with so much joy that we forgot to feed the dog for many days. It lay there, dying, as we laughed and embraced.

A man waters
plants in a
public garden.
He lifts the hose from
under the feet of two
trying to explain things to each other.
The man turns on the
hose and aims it at a
of white hydrangeas.
The spigot is strong
and petals bend under its force.
I lose sight of
the man as he
wanders off
behind a

These things that you
. . . they’re uh . . .
all around us, and you,
uh, you really
see them.
Sometimes I’m
not seeing these
things . . .
they’re hiding
in plain sight, but now . . . I’m
seeing them.

All I remember from that summer is your truck and that little iPod we played music off of. Besides that, you are just a gesture, and indistinguishable.

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