All the evil I see sparks
just so and stays
lighted. So frequently corrected,
my vision of evil compels
a fast adherence, a sleeping
through landing, a public omen.
I find myself darkly composed
in monuments, the sun rising
to strike all limbs in sequence.
Awake now, now, here, awake
to sun drip in the watershed, thick
and slow, jeweled honey-speckle
with decay and slow stirring.
Magnolia looms behind the office park
as gray meets gray building, security
manifesting distracted answers. I see all
the fear I see in men, I see deliberation
in a speck of magnolia, underside dull,
contemplation now as fear, infected
in the face and the gore comes
accessible, ringed in fuchsia.
We did miss the blossoms,
welcomed gray bulbs.
Manifesting, the limping deer
by the freeway shakes off its antlers,
submits in the shade of the tree.
Under Whose Tutelage
Always look up for the arrows.
Note: A sky full of kites makes a noise
like a warship, full throttle.
Brighter colors, the strings run up
through birch branches, white
paths to untangle in the blue.
Impossible to satisfactorily reorient
though tracing might suffice.
Here’s the thing:
I forgot. I mean I can’t say.
My daily life doesn’t amount to
much but you should see my never
mind, my errant self-aggrandizement.
If the thunder never happens, do we win
a prize? An ornamental key? Pink
champagne cake in the teachers’ lounge?
Pause, blink, I underwhelm my keepers,
feed geese under the bridge, edge closer
dismissing hisses and bodily harm.
It’s all about letting the motor run, idling,
horses, bypass—sorry, I love you, don’t run!
My fist on the e-brake, I sketch
a pretty helicopter, board it, pull out
the Ouija, conjure the dead and ask them
favors, pull the arrows back
by the ribbons I tied to them,
run one through my heel and
put the car in serious neutral—
never once looking up again
to the new sky’s green malice light.
What I bring to bear on
the world is only romance and my
not being dead. Only romance in a knot
being, dead. Only the pairing held
aloft by lighthearted heavy lifting, only
green pears for every breakfast, looping.
This morning is every morning and this
place I sit is every yesterday come back
and stacked over one another, one over
the other, until the heat of them becomes
unbearable. Until this perfect pitch of
subsistence buzzing recognizes its perfection
in extinction, extinguished, and won.
The man in the park with his sword
raises his sword nonaggressively toward
a sun perched low on magnolias. On
average, less cash. In aggregate, less harsh.
Please don’t set the wick just yet as I’ve
just only woken. The cicadas just
began their song in the city.
The stones of the cathedral just hot enough
to scorch. The morning just thick
enough to stop a weak heart for exertion.
Maybe if we stay alive we can, we will
we can we will see it all come together.
From Famous Times. Used with permission of Slope Editions. Copyright © 2019 by Thea Brown.