Construction Literary Magazine

March 2019: Conflict & Displacement

Two Poems

Two Poems

Photograph via Flickr by Moyan Brenn

Origin of Difference

              For the thousands who were thirsty
       *

The difference between the sun and a man’s body
                     dried out and bleached in the desert at the border

with his feet so torn it seemed as if he was walking with all the wrong joints,

       is that his body ends where the sun last touched him, even beneath him,
                            where the light can’t reach, there is a mirror of night
                     moving slowly to avoid the light.

       *

From any angle, his mouth seems as if it had once been swollen with joy.

       *

Perhaps you have to have the right kind of thirst
                            to keep yourself inside your body.

                     Not the kind that makes you drink from a muddy pool,

              but distant, not entirely scratching at your throat—
                            where your eyes are stitching

together a biography of grief.

       *

If you could separate his body from
              the light that wraps around him
       like a tight leather glove,
                                   pulling them apart as you would
              two dogs in a fight, with bats and hot water—
                            in one hand, you would have an empty bowl of

scattered light because in the desert, the world is only halves to us
                     through the innards of hallucination, as in half of a tree

                            dancing itself away in the distance,
       where each branch is a sea of individual tremblings.

       *

And in the other hand, a bell ringing where you can’t see it, which
                            will eventually take the shape of your hands,
              whose ringing is the sound of feet,

                                   innumerable feet
       trampling in all directions through the desert.

Origin of a Scientific Theory

There was a loneliness about him
he dragged it like a tail we tore

him open it was the first time
inside he was a tangle
of purple deflated
balloons then
green then
not a color at all only sound
scraping along the walls then
he was lonely again

he smiled darling limbed thing
kept unraveling like yarn.