Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bootleggers



A blade of grass tickles the back of your throat
You and I
are a pile of burnt-out neon signs
in the middle of a meadow. You and I
are the plastered-together pages
of a girly magazine hidden in the weeds.
The mill is nothing but slag and splinters but still
the water wheel turns, lethargically,
our mouths fill with sludge, then empty out. 
Our heads turn slowly, necks crackling 
like dried sunflower stems
in the November sun.
We are defined by our damage. 
The ripples from all those skipped stones never heal 
but scar the surface of the pond. 
We peel back the fields like old carpeting,
staple the leaves back onto their stems.
We stick out our tongues to rescue the spiders 
trapped in the deep sticky pits of the blossoms.
A pulley in the back of my throat, 
an echo down the empty well
Something is kicked, and kicks you, and you kick me
And I kick out and knock a single bottle
from the highest shelf of the iron thicket
It spins toward the ground in slow motion
Its lip knocks against the ledges 
Will it ever land with a smash
Will we be there to see it when it does
Will we be there to clean up the shards,
to mop up the mess
to wipe every blade of grass 
beneath the spreading limbs 
of that great black inescapable tree

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