Home Invasion with IKEA Bath Textiles

She was born to tease
and lay there in the middle of the bed.
Three boys beyond their mothers’ call
shed tears, bodily fluids, at all this trust, at even the thought.
Along the wall, the family’s bright towels.

     Carla Drysdale | Video Game
     Elaine Sexton | Rethinking Regret
     Mary Cornish | Numbers
     Denise Duhamel | Buying Stock
     Marie-Elizabeth Mali | Cabana Boy


Risen from Her Bed of Troublesome Snacks

Without saying hello, in the restaurant
my Great Aunt Sarah
drives back another wad of tobacco,
spits it into the pan of eggs.
And just what the fuck else was she supposed to do?

     Jeffrey McDaniel | The Quiet World
     Robert Lowell | My Last Afternoon with Uncle Devereux Winslow
     Dara Wier | Fear
     Sylva Fischerová | Eggs, Newspaper, and Coffee (trans. Sylva
        Fischerová and Stuart Friebert
     Jayne Cortez | Rape


Lower Peninsula Pastoral

The ward is quiet, the mothers delivered,
all bafflement and loveliness. The still air,
the sob at the base of the body.
In the house in Detroit,
dogs who pitch and yaw all night for a little water.

     Elizabeth Spires | The First Day
     Paul Violi | When to Slap a Woman
     Andrew Joron | Skymap Under Skin
     Lawrence Joseph | Sand Nigger
     Jane Miller | Adoration


On This a Whole Kingdom Hung

The mills locked their doors and I thought I heard voices.
I had already been weeping quietly.

A man sweating and stoking,
the yellow hulk of Cats winding bay front chip yards—
we were the fragrance of the idea of the meaning of not. We didn’t want destruction.

Meanwhile, the sunlight off broken glass is everywhere.

     Gabrielle Calvocoressi | Late Twentieth Century in the Form of Litany
     Patrick Donnelly | Prayer at the Opera
     Anthony Walton | Third Shift
     Michael McGriff | Coos Bay
     Adrian Blevins | Why the Marriage Failed
     Oliver de la Paz | Hello,


Matter Got Up in Costume as Itself

The oleanders in your courtyard
     where they burn candles for you

Failing yellow light
     leaves out subject and object

To trust that last breath wings out something more than air

     Federico García Lorca | Ballad of One Doomed to Die (Romance
          del Emplazado
, trans. Langston Hughes)
     Ishmael Reed | Pocadonia
     Karla Kelsey | Fragile Ladder Barques, 10.3
     Carlos Drummond de Andrade | Looking for Poetry
     Mark Doty | Theory of the Soul


Since Your Love Died

The disobedient mind is the fruit of inactivity swaying upon
petals on a wet, black bough
drying inward from the edge.
To know there’s no one here to save you:
ah guess ah’ll go up Echo Mountain and crah.

         Philip Whalen | Many Colored Squares
         Ezra Pound | In a Station of the Metro
         Edna St. Vincent Millay | Ebb
         Gabrielle Calvocoressi | Save Me Joe Louis
         Edward Field | Unwanted


Dark Harvest

It was late September. I’d just poured a glass of wine, begun
to think I had sent the postman and his donkey
out of the barn and
into the static. And as I heard my father
(someone dying of love, someone from whom time had taken
flags and honking cars,
the various and gathered families)
howl down the spiral staircase
Come all ye faithless
I drove into town to drink tea in the cafe.

     Carol Ann Duffy | Mrs Midas
     Rod Jellema | Letter to Myra Sklarew, Visiting Mekounida, on the Island of Evvoia,
          in Greece
     Curtis Bauer | A Splinter Becoming a Burning Plank
     Kevin Clark | Radio Fate
     Louise Glück | The Balcony
     Gary Soto | Envying the Children of San Francisco
     David St. John | The Swan at Sheffield Park
     Albert Goldbarth | Reality Organization
     C. D. Wright | The Secret Life of Musical Instruments
     Robert Hass | Happiness


Gone Astray in Trackless Wastes

I no longer believed in the revolution
but what is there for a man to do with his life?

It gave purpose to my wanting to be alone.
The aftermath is two people breathing.

I am used up, a waste gas.
And there are other, worse, symptoms.

     Derek Wolcott | The Schooner Flight
     Russell Edson | Angels
     Terry Ehret | The Author of This Poem Will Grant an Interview
     David Roderick | Self-Portrait in 1969 (Summer)
     Brian Spears | Hurry
     Eric McHenry | Litte Viral Song


After the Fire at Club Lobohombo, Mexico City

I post letters to my lost Mayan sisters
waiting to be shaken open by some
precarious thriver in the song-stung dark.
Over the ear, a conch of voice and music
was a sack full of torn wings beating.

          H. L. Hix | Cy Twombly, “Night Watch”
          Keetje Kuipers | 4th of July
          Joshua Corey | Severance Songs, 2.1
          Luis Cernuda | Apologia pro Vita Sua (trans. Reginald Gibbons)
          Larry Levis | Earl the Chicken Farmer


Incident Along Route 50

In reality, the barn wasn’t clean, ninety men
and a woman sobbing in a hospital gown, Not fair.
And look! That cowboy
as he flicks his razor.
Nine months later, my brother was born.

         Norman Dubie | Trakl
         Laura Kasischke | Warehouse of Prayers
         Gloria Frym | Looking for Trouble
         Frank O’Hara | Southampton Variations
         Marilyn Hacker | Days of 1944: Three Friends