Winner of the 2011 Lana Turner Open Poetry contest.  Judge: Jane Miller

    

Exuberance


To know me as golden is to know me all wrong.  Every time I breathe in it smells rusty, like
             blood, and when I cough there is blood in the air.

If I were in charge of these special effects, I’d make it thicker; it’s so hard to take it   seriously.  Bright little hearts and stars and carnations on a white cloth.

Let’s go out with a thicker line, a cerulean skylight, rain that gets dumped out of a trough     to thwack the pane of glass, a smear of red like tempera paint across the cheek or     the hand, streaming from the mouth.  

Let’s have a disaster, a lake made of salt, a blackout.  Everything riots and unspools, the
              whole room on one side and all the sound winking out. 

You stay here.  Let me run into that starring role, pinker and more flooded with blood:  
              remember when it meant exuberance, remember awe?  Let’s be that breathless.
 

 

 

 

 

Night Wing


Mangy pressed minute hand, a scratch along the blank clock-face. Stalker moon.  

In this all-night elaboration, all the language is the language of birds, damaging and
               certain.  

It’s not a bit like rest, these blown black hours.  But now a darkening sea, now a white and
               rushing traffic, light combed into quick streaks.

Pink singing in the closed room, but actually, no one is sleeping, no one
               is getting out of bed.

You’ve unsealed each kissed brow, but when each turns to each, I’m out of range.

It’s a careful violence but it executes a whole set of strangers, repeats, closer:  
               That’s the half-hour before I bloom in the eye of every you.
 

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