Amy MacLennan   2011 All Rights Reserved

Por Favor

Everything adjusts to the end
of summer. The lake softens
less of the bank; the forest young
have learned to kill and to run.

Beside me, a moth
dries its green wings on the green edge
of a cut limb. It is all
strictly business, this

trusted newness, this easy
scattering. In the heat,
I forget how long
the world has been closed to me.

From old limbs, old leaves flutter
and float, first on air, then
like little boats they contend
with the ripples that buoy and fade.

(To say you have earned by now
and by God your imperfections
is to say you have lived
already.) Wings like

x-rayed lungs. Wings like lungs
breathing. The proboscis is
a burnt hair unfurling, tapping out
a code I cannot hear to break.

I have lived already. Listen
to the insects hum. Listen to leaves
mimic the absent rain. Ignore
me. I misunderstand.

What your child builds, mine destroys.
Boys and girls who love each other.
So they say. So they are made to say.
A game to those who think it

is funny. Like wings, my lungs
flutter in the heat. It is funny,
and no game. Pretend you do not
hear me. Pretend I am not here.



The Pommels

Collecting Death, the cleaners will not set foot
here anymore. Like them, like him, like those

who kill those who kill, we do salute
your inexhaustible appeal. Under

such polish, such weight, are no survivors
(Birdsong, footfall, screech and hum), though some

keep moving longer, enough to refuse the salves
from home, enough to prize suspiring us,

bone-dry to outlast the blade
                                                 Dust catcher,
there are nights he would go now without a fight.



Mike Smith
Copyright 2011  

A graduate of UNC-G, Hollins College, and the University of Notre Dame, Mike Smith has published two collections of poetry, How to Make a Mummy (Custom Words) and Multiverse (BlazeVOX). He is an Assistant Professor of Poetry at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi.

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