Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Ruin with Slime and Fibonacci Sequence

Ruin with Slime and Fibonacci Sequence
Photograph via Flickr by Tom Lee KelSo


I woke, the country a dead fish in my arms.

All those dangly lights, brought up
from the deepest crevasses,
so useless.

Oh, America! My little fish.

No water, no water anywhere.
I stood on a rock and scanned,

then I flung her to the birds,
who turned their necks an impressive
and totally natural 270 degrees,

scowled, and flew off for the lake
they sensed existed
in another land.

Beneath all those feathers, an army of small,
symbiotic insects.

I take some comfort
in those small, symbiotic insects.
As if the things that eat us

are eating out the dark dark
deep in our oceans, are eating
the plastic effigy of our worst
people, our worst selves.

Female, flailing. A gilled flesh.
Someone hanging from a rope.
What does it mean to cope? to survive?

America lay rotting on the sand.

A man used to tell me, whatever we do,
the earth will withstand
. I never believed
him, even though his arms

were muscled like a rare
geological phenomenon,
his pants made of a material so durable

that even had he swung
his machete wrong,
he wouldn’t have harmed himself.

Oh God, in another time—
one might be putty
for a man like this,

but he held no sway over me
when it came to destruction:
I know what it means
that seven species of bees

made the endangered list.
I will not be led
into the woods of your built spiral
tree house we will have to climb
before we can take off our clothes.

For a while there, I took to drink.
For a while,
I noted the strangest occurrences:
a rhododendron blooming
in November.

A pomegranate
the size of a head.

A head the size
of a pomegranate.

Meanwhile, my teeth
deep in the universe of my mouth
had sprouted little soldiered feet,
walked on up the ladder
of my esophagus,
into the light—

where a child flew
her paper airplane
off the upstairs balcony.

For a month, I was ill.
Still, the mucus of America
climbs out of my lungs,
how in Harry Potter Ron’s slugs
spill from his lips
so he has to polish & polish
the trophies to remove the slime.

The broken wand
of America and those slugs
in all our throats.

I feel slow like a slug, says the child,
her back on the couch,
or like a very worn out snail.

There must be something to that shell
that gives it so much more energy.
I don’t want her to explain,
so I don’t say anything.