Leveler Poetry Journal
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when the snakes scattered: a rattling yes

 

the colors died in your arm

 

when you were pulsed

you could feel it

right about the temple

 

and in the bone-etch

stretching, each

rim’s reach—

firm becoming a form

 

until the ache was done

 

when you’d completed all your fowl

your jawbone

whipped shut

 

learning gentility transformed

another spot

for ice to grin into water

you leaned in

to stain the lip of some land

wearing the best imitation

of a polo shirt

and high-sport slacks

 

the sort of measurements

that roll out                    the cage

of each night being drawn

 

as new

 

gets handed

sand for the gritting

wool

 

dressings smattered with evening numbers

 

forget your skull’s

wet                                what dings it

takes over

 

and who

you sit

still next to

 

through the full

line of each blooming tree’s lie

 

vapid, constant, and inattentive

i pour water

in this place

 

and get ready

to lick

the curve of your face




Tony Mancus