If ever I dream
of the crooked trees
with green around the trunks,
dripping water from their twigs,
I’ve found the spot
for my burial.
It’s quiet in October
on the narrow street
in the suburbs
with leaves resting under
I go running at four,
and travel through dusk air
down these empty streets
lined with swollen branches
of arthritic trees –
dry as they wait for the moon.
Dry and there is water in my breath only.
Dry so the leaves crunch
as my feet hit pavement
until I reach the dead
end by the woods
where the sun is dimmed, and
the trees hold water.
October Holy –
darkness surrounding orange – lit
windows of houses
and thickets of woods with secrets
absurd and beautiful.
Christina McDermott is a writer and linguist who enjoys exploring the connection between speech sounds and the rhythm of poetry. Her work has appeared in Levee Magazine and October Hill Press. She also runs a poetry blog: https://pocketmappoetryblog.wordpress.com/
up to no good.
how long? how long
will you put up
gold nugget eyes
Before this field blossomed
it was already scented
from fingers side by side
darkening the lines in your palm
the way glowing coals
once filled it with breasts
Everything happens a little more each day.
I’ve had a good time; even my fear has been a twinkling light.
The best place to be is right in the way.
I am sewing my flesh into the costume.
There, in your bed, a warm body bends.
We all like each other in a surprisingly realistic fashion.
A little bit further along to the mass grave and the Tilt-a-Whirl.
Outside, metal bangs against claw.
What a dull needle!
Reach for meaning, step on the sleeping.
Nauseous, a practical girl lay down beside the memorial fountain.
Your date with fate reveals a mutual attraction.
Silence so deep you can hear
that moth combing its antennae.
The trees are asleep on their feet, oblivious.
A single leaf yawns, turns over.
At the hint of a breeze the grass
pulls the bedclothes tighter.
I should mention how the moonlight
looks but I can barely keep my eyes open
so instead I’ll say what it sounds like:
like a dining room in a
long-foreclosed mansion where the finest
china has just been laid out on
the finest tablecloth by the
ghost of the late butler
who nodded off while looking
for the spoons.
The secret joy of the hour
is that anything could happen
and nothing ever does.
Kurt Luchs has poems published or forthcoming in Into the Void, Triggerfish Critical Review, Right Hand Pointing, Roanoke Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Antiphon, Emrys Journal, and The Sun Magazine, among others, and won the 2017 Bermuda Triangle Poetry Prize. He founded the literary humor site TheBigJewel.com, and has written humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as writing comedy for television (Politically Incorrect and the Late Late Show) and radio (American Comedy Network). Sagging Meniscus Press recently published his humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny), which has been nominated for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. His poetry chapbook, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other, is forthcoming. More of his work, both humor and poetry, can be found at kurtluchs.com.
This poem was first published in Fjords Review.