poems by Glenn Ingersoll

Meat People

 

The foreign affairs begin to hurt. They call each

other repeatedly, the phone bills fat as children. ‘Look,

baby,’ he says. ‘Look, baby,’ he says. And for all the

looking there ought to be a view wide as fourteen hills, four

 

windows. What do you need? Twice daily the garbage scow,

praised by white gulls, turns up at Fresh Kills. The bird of

love whacks her head. Never very quick with the badminton

racket? Too many holes. Must one go entirely through

 

one’s head? He took off his shoes so his feet could

expand, fill the space left by retreating ice ages. The jagged

hole offered a way to go. So who here is considering taking

it? There are the birds on the hanging rope; world is

 

sidewise, I guess; who’s dangling on the line, baby? If he

jerks they’ll jump off, their arms rustly with hundreds of

black feathers like ratty sleeves; if, on the line he

jerks involuntarily, the water pushing against his face like

 

a hand, the birds will dive toward rescue. The news collected in

the bottom of the envelope like sediment, a black

line. Around the pilings of the docks curly

 

rainbows bob like half-burnt flags; you want to fish

them out. I’ll help peg them up on the off-white warehouse

wall. Then comes the getting off gracefully; put down that beating

tongue; it’ll flop a minute after but will relax, stretch

 

out flat like a dancer with a muscle in her back sore. Forced

pause. The birds are coming back but the line is

slack. They circle in a black band. And now? The curtains

slap together on his reflection, sway over his emptied shoes.

 

 

 

more air on the tracks

 

Every word came out a prayer.

At the top of the stratosphere a molecule shook loose.

I invite the waters.

There are many more colors that will stay still.

 

Suspicious? You think it might not be poison?

Include here a soap bubble.

The hearings dragged on past the listening.

Let’s adopt it, stroke it, dress it in the enemy’s colors.

 

I bite off your finger because it is in my mouth. Such things happen.

The end of the world? Pretty close!

Give me one and I will return one, or, if I feel up to it, carry it out.

The last of the robed monks joined the line for the mic.

 

 

 

slowly rowing this breath like a skate-bug upon a molasses of gravity

 

Suddenly I couldn’t walk. I looked for the next step in other faces.

The money is dangerous too.

Electric lights small among novenas.

I read what the author said. Explain it to me.

 

How far has the ground gotten from us? Will it come back?

Your stair karma is precipitous.

In the back corner of the bad closet leans the black broom.

The categories of revelation fill up to thirty-three tablets.

 

His search for breath turned over the song.

We don’t know where we are. We open the wrong maps.

Which were the beautiful monsters?

A circle of blue rests like a crown on the heart she creeps through.

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