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November 21, 2018 / barton smock

{ older test (s) }

[SOFT FACTS]

we peck
in the darkroom
at the wrist
of a fish
our body language
proofing
the baby’s
dream

*****

body

like some use an alias. fingerprints

manna
for hand.

I was dreaming I guess
in the face of brevity

of god’s glassrabbit ocean

*****

at a time
unlike this

the father
is all
appetite

the chicken, gone
he points

to its ghost…

my mouth
is a church, my clock
a Sunday spider

in a dry
toilet

(I’m passionate about my grief)

your shadow

dolled up
in the yard

cyborg, minotaur

not once
did I watch
them sleep

*****

I don’t know what she saw
in that jar

but she’s been hours

rubbing
my head
with a balloon…

dad switches out the bag on her head
and slips something in my mouth
while saying
mouse
in the dollhouse

I doze for a moment and see a priest
pretend to fall
from a horse, and a stork

act
as it should

I see myself
a form
forged
by a twin, a reincarnation

that perhaps impressed
my photographer
son

*****

pills
minus the pills
given
by shepherd

*****

the cause of this grief escapes me and I worry can tunnel breathe. the snake in your love letter sounds real. it takes my belly to things

that are also

*****

dream is a boy dressed as his abuser sizing aquariums for the hand of a spider

*****

the first person to use these steps went down these steps. violence is the new past. I see a dove and think god will never know who it was ate his crushed light bulb. I betray my ear. the seashell of the stomach.

*****

I try, but can’t make my bed. mom says maybe I’m grief. after coming back to touch me, she wishes herself a bird.

I hope she eats.

then

I had a word for marble that wasn’t marble. both were swallowed.

thirst is not the same as forgetting to drink. god talks up his handicapped friend.

*****

what
will I never
see

lost
arachnid, a triangle

drawn
by others-

my legs make me lonely.

dream, put me down.

*****

upon my double
being seen
I am set
to self
destruct

I am no sadder
than twin, no sadder
than dog…

my wrist
is nothing’s
neck

*****

no knife in the dog of absence. not a scratch on wind’s throat. winged things that belong to the tooth in your shoulder. lipstick. the unhummed ribs of your wrist.

*****

night is the sound of my father’s adding machine. of mother narrating the life of a stone. lake is my brother’s action figure learning to swim on a full stomach. lake is a bird going from dream to dream as a mouse. hole is anything I bring home that isn’t my body. home from the city where sisters drink in silence to footnotes of future fictions.

*****

life is a shapelessness to which form describes its pilgrimage

dream a grave dreaming
of a cactus
for nothing’s
crow

*****

shape is a future fashioned from god’s inability to reflect

(she thinks her hair came from an egg. she is not alone.)

there’s nothing in the food

*****

and there I was, sad

my robot
giving hell
to an elevator

and I was forty-one
and still not there
the day that kid
got beat up
for keeping sadness
close

and I was never the poorest
in any room

is this what being poor means or meant

grief
that we can brush at the fossil
of grief

*****

suicide took the person she was named during.

I am old, here. a klutz abstaining from revelation.

bald as any
lover
of maps.

*****

had he not been all those years
writing a review
for the last book
in the world
my father
would’ve been
a poet

there are only so many crows
one can see
outside a laundromat
for the drowned, scarless hawks

so maternally nudged
into the travelogue
of my staying

*****

angel of the old well
speaks to god
in rabbit, I wish

jack-in-the-box
your films
were longer

*****

I don’t know the name of the animal that slept with god. that ate the pea and left a rib. that moved the angel’s grave. with help.

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