Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2016  Vol. 15 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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In our north wall? A vespiary.
And the sour apple’s gone dormant again.

Here, let me show you:
you have to play the pool table like space-time.
Hauled from the landfill,
the felted plywood warped with rain.
Skulls in a barrel, storm windows,
imaginary mathematics
scratched into a schoolhouse slate.
All this emigrated from the midden world
into the barn, my father’s slumping ark.

The felt bald with swallow-shit,
I rack the balls about the eight: listening.
My friend’s fiancée knew
what hurt ecstasy, what precise hunger
her body could glean and give the night
before she broke things off.
Before, after the storm, he led me
mushrooming under broken pines.
As though the corpse plant’s flesh
rose from his certainty the earth is dying.

Failure in the face of all that.

No matter how fine your grasp of things
quantum, extractive
the open field will have its way with you.
The barn will list from true, magnetic north.  

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