Shanna Compton



Mouth Made Out of Trees


The mouth of the Russian River aslip at Jenner

lips and leaves a mouth of shells and sea lions

colors your lips and leaves them soft among the grapes

your lips and leaves residual highway driving.


The tree near the canyon mouth the canyon

mouth near the oak trees in the snow

the snow your mouth a new environment mouth

inhalation rapid breathing environmental plantsign.


How many different trees and bushes do you see?

How many shocks domesticated, feral or stray?

At the rear of the property the incentive to cut

a good many trees a worm possesses entirely in its mouth.


Your mouth is its own environment a canyon

with trees and snow a felt mouth unembroidered

coal a paintbrush of dark wood the instrument

of the mouth wind blown through the mouth of trees.


A mouth of the miracle rubber.

Lips that have smiled are as limitless as leaves.


In half-asleep love


I hush the peaches

the darkened kitchen

eerily clean in the

stainless gleam of the

fridge and stove

redoubling the bounce.

The cat bootlegs some

chow bleating like

some other animal,

ripping at the carpet

with an alien noise.

He’s a shroud of a pet.

Earlier we barhopped,

avoided the jiffy algebras

of shifting seats at tables

by simply leaving.

A door functions both ways.

Open for water.

Open for air.


Even a Zoo


The dawn arrived and the plums fell.

We were both naïve and bold.

Down it dropped into fields of saffron.


Like flakes in winter triumph

in the face of shine on snow

the sand conditions things

for change or burial.


Who knows? The camels of this caravan

might expand into cheap memories

in the national language.


But there is more to me than this.


183,000 pampered miles more

and in great condition.


Bubble Up


Blue drunk on applejacked burst

bulbs the buzzed of lower lawns mown

down the gullet with a POD glossy cover

galley of thighs ricochets impromptu

critique with sexy no coverup fleshy

bareness! it's spring in Brooklyn

and we're all poets everybody

I am you are babies dogs

their walkers and nannies the mailman

the barber whole pack of teen bangers

the dude going Dirty Fruit! Dirty Fruit!

something it took me years

to learn suddenly clear:

poems at no charge here