Lily Brown

 


 

Old With You

 

I wait for my wrist lines.

 

If I push them,

 

boxes make themselves.

 

          *

 

I shorten your name

to a letter to make

you new.

 

Time spreads.

 

These materials

populate my life.

Cursors in mud.

 

I turn on the weather.

 

The weather

ashes the books.

 

The house can live

underwater. The house

can wear its rooms out.

 

So what if the house.

 

The primitive is a process

more real, more hated.

 

Real book, the thoughts

in you are secondhand.

 

 



With Music

 

I work to my eye. Bird body

to my right.

 

Creaky-winged white pelican—change

my life, live fossil,

plaster mower with music.

 

A woman tells a pregnant woman

she dreams her stomach's

ripped out.

 

What the kid listens to in there.

 

Mother, don't worry about the missing

phone calls. You're worth more than

vacillation, all

I've heard.

 

The singer said he hears the city

with no alarms or cars.

 

The song unreal

and true. Pigeons shit on anything.

 

One August, an hour out of the city,

the light lost it.

 

What was an electric

keyboard is a horn.

 

Give the power outage.

 

The plastic poem owns

you, brain.

 



Its Character

 

This could be a photo of wood, black ink

scored across it. The cracks are real.

No, wood's plied into a shape.

 

Remove the paper.

Green spine meets black

face in a lifted ridge.

 

We've restored the original,

one-poem-per-page model. The original?

I face the wall. My back to the dead-bug

 

curtains and their tale of white.

I'm elsewhere. Sounds let up at the top

and fade. I have a radiator full of water.

 

It could be bad for my health, everything

with plugs, unidentified in the hedge.

Authentic stamps on the floor. I turn across

 

the bed. I need shelves, I need storage. I need

to stop who you are. In the fantasy

head, you always write. It happened that 1pm

 

passed and she signed her letters with one word,

then five words, then three words, then six.

Unroll your quarters-in-paper, poem

 

in a bad time. I'm in the wilds without

my feet. In the slick cedar swamp,

all is a primitive green. The lightless thicket

 

where even the air's hung up

and colored, the tree line sticks the clouds.