Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Hard Water

your name was a debt fragment
you had to read right to left

alone to your own

rent-to-own devices;

the tiny foreclosure’s addition

right up to the crease of it:

a bloodline like a book
mark settled in the buyer’s guide.


the republic’s last aperture;

linear has lost all residency with you.

the large black sofa sinks into itself.

there is nowhere to sit.

you stand outside
of the one vote allotted to you.


some nights you can’t sleep

require a more imperial membrane

salt trespass
your say, short of foetal

takes time-released capsule

takes facial indeterminacy

to have gotten this far through the yearbook

to drunk dial all your old dirigibles again

to hang up
without having your say

so big in that sky


in this dream a police presence.

you search
every emptied room from your childhood

with a dowsing rod.

you can’t even remember

what it was you were looking for.

everything left

the way it wasn’t.

the TV starves itself on the same channel.

less itemized now than . . .

maybe a notebook, a faulty CD,
a few strip plugs;

the slow stave of memory:

the things you forgot to turn off,

a night-light with nothing
to shadow.


instead of the titles and deeds,
tiny claw marks in the impeccable

wood grain.

inside the display case
you don’t find the display.


as one flashlight tags the insides of another

you have seen your own scrutiny

mechanically separated.

how do the young loves do it
when it’s time for goodbye?

two clicks for no and then the total darkness.  end  

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