CRYSTAL FINGERS [crystal]
It's lucky they let the mutations be benign here.
I've heard horror stories of short straws drawn
at the northernmost checkpoints, the debilitating
fancies of an unfeeling organic engine;
biomancy is not a pursuit for the sentimental.
These new carnelian fingernails of mine throb
like a collision, grow like rat's teeth,
and shimmer in low light. Cross my crystal
fingers and hope to find that these precious hooves bloom
enough for its filings to secure us safe passage.
A LITTLE MYLAR [suit]
To think--little else sits between me and oblivion
but this fuckin' suit and my own penchant for panic.
They can't train nerves out of you but they sure
try to train you to cope. One... day? night?
our electrician asked me between swigs of
lab grog, "You ever been naked and weightless?"
I turned it over like an altered person does with
every dumb koan they coax out of a coworker.
"Once long ago, a time before time, and now once
every other day to wipe down the solar panels."
THE CURSE [knot]
What mischief do bracelets and chains
get up to behind closed doors? What
metallic tango do they dance to end up
that entwined, a nest of silver snakes knotted
in twos and threes, cheek to cheek, clasp to clasp,
inseparable but by the daintiest, most
patient fingers. There is talk of a tangle so
transcendent that even the nimblest digits
can't undo the dangling dancers, and so
spot-welded to one another they might as
well be. They have forsaken the
neckline and chosen themselves.
Granddad willed me only two things:
a set of silver bocce balls in a black
velvet case and a scroll in an empty vodka
bottle. It said "Our family has played ball at Raven
Park since the age of lamplighters. I want
you to keep the covenant; smash this bottle
and lay the shards at the foot of the big oak.
We know corvids play, but they also spectate.
Only fools think black cats are bad luck,
and black birds are much the same. Throw
the jack true, and the ravens will see you safe."
GHOST OFFICE [spirit]
Look at that face, spectral rosy cheeks,
spectral patterned tie, spectral canvas
pocket protector. They've got a big pile
of ghost adjudications to get through
today. They commiserate about the
newest ghost baseball draft class and
make plans for ghost drinks later that day.
They scratch their head with a pink kneaded
eraser and ask their office mate for
a second set of eyes on this complaint:
"This isn't wrong but somehow it feels
against the spirit of the operation."
WHICH WAY ARE YOU GOING? [fan]
Sunrise finally peeks through the slits of the turquoise
blinds. Your outfit is fanned out like color swatches on
the rumpled comforter. You're due on a westbound train
and I've got to catch the bus downtown. You admit in
confidence to the slippers and socks that you'll miss me.
And like your keys and your wallet you'll find me right
where you left me, near the dustings of cat dander,
long stalks of barley growing from my eyelashes.
FIVE-DAY FORECAST [pressure]
okay I'm bending the rules here because I wrote this back in February during my week of subway poems but I don't think I've shared it yet so here it is https://pastebin.com/1wJtkcpr
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