STRIKE FEAR OR GET STRUCK
A slit in the costume where
the panic peeked. Tonguing
yellow tonguing green. A slit
in the offering. It wasn’t mine
but I got inside it. Seemed
rude but. I’d become proud
of my hunches. Shy, unstable
vibrant: floating a little nobly
off the earth. A milk city. A mute
swallow. Respite from excessive
presence. The bliss of inches
where we listen until we hear
someone say martyr this the way
we think a real witch would.
SERMON ON FIDELITY
In the garden of tape I taped his face back
into an animal’s. He plunged his tail into my eye.
Sped up five-point violence of the stars.
What kept happening. What poured over us
like burning water, proudish looks.
Make me just like him, I prayed, but greater.
The words before me squirmed. More capable.
They pierced my ears with wires, and tiny false
pearl studs. He didn’t want anything going on
behind his back. The eyes inside my smile
watered. They’re tagging these thoughts too.
You’ll never memorize your way into tenderness
or vision. Yeah, I hear you. Yeah, I know.
I liked to make him feel my forehead. You’re not sick
he’d say. To make the body one with its indignities
complicates identity. I fell inside my eye. In the garden
of tape, a sermon on fidelity stuck to every tendril.
And the problem is you rest. You rest and you forget.
The garden had its volume, and then we turned it up.
DRAG YOUR ARROW THROUGH MY LIFELESS OCEAN
An opaque face said concentrate
but this part feels like prayer to me
so I release.
He is on the floor, rolled away from his nature.
I roll away from my nature, too. One upper.
Lichtleiter is the light conductor.
Your finger to my skipping sounds, ripping it
like static. A skirt is a joke that circles the legs.
Something about what cannot govern.
A joke is knowledge transmitted directly,
At Rawaan’s party a weird translucent moth
dusts us and I dream a little girl is dead. I can tell
because she’s holding an egg in her mouth.
Later, at the sink, I’m trying not to break the egg
but the yolk gets out anyway. Running it under
a stream of water so it bubbles up as it slips
down the drain.
Yellow milk. I feel the slackness of my mind.
Try to have an original thought.
I feel like I’m a plant w/ a bead of dew
on my head, that someone keeps wiping off.
Fat magnolias calling me, then hanging up
when I say hi.
Turn away from your nature it has made you
predictable. I imagine that I pity you for something,
anything, until we become massive,
an ocean of ourselves.
When pity floods the joke, pity the goblet made to hold it.
Oh, your little goblet’s come apart!
Bridget Talone is the author of Sous Les Yeux (Catenary Press, 2017) and The Soft Life (Wonder Press). Recent work has appeared in jubilat and Ugly Duckling Presse’s 6×6.