Michael Neary © 2012 All Rights Reserved
The lamp man sings over prostitutes tonight.
The skater kids huff computer duster
in alligator goggles. Teach me again
to dismantle old radios—strip their frail
bodies, tongue the transistors. You are
the broken umbrella beneath which I smoke.
I follow your name down the storm drain.
Organ chord over cathedral loudspeaker
sustained—waves lapping buildings, silencing
the zoo. You skip across the train
tracks in search of the moon. You are running away
but the lighthouse is empty. Stay with me here
in the cracked statuary. We can be shy
together, twin paper boats with submarine
lungs. You’ll never learn to fly so it’s best
just to sing. It is raining black bells.
The turf-toed dancers are trying to break
Insomniac Slow Dance
The woman in a rented room
unfolding her breasts like wrecked
paper planes. They dive bomb gracefully
the factory of flowers, the gravestone gardens
well-dressed in wet footsteps. They spill
themselves out of west-facing windows,
ancient as lungs of the sea.
She is the residue of moon
in a blown-out light bulb. The stitching
of sky into trees. And I am crumbling
like brickwork, a rampart of scrap parts
heaped against what? I keep coming
to this tree line or this shore
of something swarming or whatever swells
when the mind bell is struck,
when the woman with
her finger undresses
the grave and it lengthens.
Bradley Harrison is currently a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas in Austin. His work can be found in Gulf Coast, CutBank, The Los Angeles Review, Hunger Mountain, New Orleans Review, Best New Poets 2012 and elsewhere. His chapbook Diorama of a People, Burning is available from Ricochet Editions (2012).
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