Hung-over in a Garaged, Running Car While Contemplating Divorce
Into the drink: we have been pulled from the river
more than once, rigor-stiff, a gaffe
in the face of so much authority,
dripping orifice of distaste, grotesque
blue in brass buttons, lapels—
someone said this was quieter
than folding up into your seat
chugging along into nothing
with an indie rock soundtrack
through fog; fog, your breath a fog
the river’s fog, the threat of fog
wheels slide from tracks
all the time
disks slip in lame backs
all the time
toddlers flail into rages
all the tedious time—
why not limp like sea weed
to get dredged. Get fished. Why not
put a ring on it, take it home
and swallow it, breathe heavy
through wet gills.
A Short Marriage
It was nothing like that.
We ignored our internal tigers,
left with no other choice.
which settles into your gums,
makes your teeth shiver.
They can crumble, too.
When we dressed up like spies
before a Justice of Peace
it turned us quiet.
Our mouths were cranking
In summer we mowed sitting down
like it was a metaphor,
you nailed a baby rabbit
and the universe killed
the wild blackberries
Our dolor was real
at night in a small bed
you’d thieve the blankets
while I watched the spare walls
and fed the blank space
Divorce Poem #14
I developed sun spots
from staring into brighter things.
Then came the rickets, the hives,
welts under my skin
crimson and malodorous
like the Japanese beetles
that infested our porch one summer.
I barely survived flu season
viscous and running,
every bone hurt.
When I was laid up
and lyme disease,
the midnight train
would chuff past my bedroom window,
the Christmas lights strung on coal cars
casting a kaleidoscopic balm
on the dark ceiling.
Broken-down about my eyes, bored with the way they buckle
under heat, routine, how they find the pattern of every chattering
chimp in a cottage cheese ceiling. These are things I want
to be clad in: my daughter’s rapture when I blow into her face,
the muscles in my lips authoring a gale that sweeps her eyes
delicately, like a light bulb or seahorse and how we wear
a twin-set of bruises; galaxies on our arms from the window sill
where we fell from trying to stand on our own. I’m beat up
about my liver, too—the way it pulverizes best intentions, sends
messages to my hands that repeat: you have to take the salt of men,
press it into a cube and roll it away. It tells me this while I watch
a spider spelunk into the baby’s open mouth: an exultation in silk.
Holy is the First Friday Without
normal, landlocked Wisconsin, great lake lapping the neck
of an isthmus, millions of voters and cheeseheads, bars
we have been doing your business for a few years now. I’m ready
to leave myself. It’s the ring of a doorbell you hear from the back
of the house. The baby is running now, deer gaited and limbed.
Every neighbor is a Mary with a sidewalk to shovel and Jesus, we can’t
keep up with the salting. I’m turning in earlier to catch up on
what has been lost. I’m loosening the toxins of the last ten years
like the whisper of new snow. Blocks away the cathedral bell is pealing,
Christ, that’s something to hear in a dry sky.
Lauren Gordon is the Pushcart Prize nominated author of the forthcoming chapbooks Meaningful Fingers with Finishing Line Press and Keen with horse less press. Some of her work has appeared or is forthcoming with burntdistrict, Sugar House Review, Rain Taxi, Menacing Hedge, Right Hand Pointing, and Poetry Crush, among many other wonderful journals and anthologies. She is a Contributing Editor to Radius Lit and lives outside of Milwaukee with her two favorite people. “Permanence” is from Meaningful Fingers, to be published in July, 2014.