Hour two, John’s trying to take his shadow off.
On the neighbor’s lawn, stray bottles arranged in green-
glass bouquets, I hear someone scream,
and the cock-eyed towers of the poorly run junkyard
just behind Tim’s groaning like cellos
unspooling in the wind; I recall the boy (when I was
a boy) who’d hopped its fence and was torn open
by its sentinel Dobermans, whose violence, we were told,
was certainly atypical. The owner, who shot them,
hung their tags from a mounted shuriken.
Somewhere above all that metal shit shifting I imagine
two beautiful teenagers are kissing. I recall pigeons,
televisions, fridges in there. Other winters, other
screams: my cousin Kristen’s limp right hand
fanned open near the paintcan in the suicide scene.
From Rise and Float by Brian Tierney (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2022). Copyright © 2022 by Brian Tierney. Reprinted with permission from Milkweed Editions.