Construction Literary Magazine

January 2017 Writers Respond

How I Got Here Again and Again; Speak of Beasts, Speak of Love, Speak of Nothing

How I Got Here Again and Again; Speak of Beasts, Speak of Love, Speak of Nothing
Photograph via Flickr by Bart Everson
How I Got Here Again and Again

In the evening,
When the air begins
To dig its own small grave,

I dream a hundred monks,
Like a sleepless river,

Carry the jaws of horses
Across the long dark
Field of cotton

Behind my eyes.
Their robes stretch over
The horizon like
A string tied

To a tooth, the other
End, a doorknob.
As they pass,

Moon-sung birds
Rise like countries
Burnt away from

The map of my childhood.
Their sandals are caked
With the ash of every
Tree I’ve scorched with

My tongue. Out of sight,
They bring the bones
To the earth and scoop

Open its locked jaws.

Speak of Beasts, Speak of Love, Speak of Nothing

At the Mississippi river, I resurrect my tongue:
Howls rise from the earth.

Boys steal crosses from flood-stained tombs,
Toss them into the water, laughing.
Each splash draws blood from the clouds.

A dark ship passes, white horses on deck.
Below: wine smuggled in caskets.

The children see me, line up, lean back their heads.
Jazz funerals march through their veins.

When I say, bury your heart behind a star.
In my palms, I cup the ashes of a pistol.