Iris Moulton

 

 

Wake


Here is your small boutique of a face
open
beautiful shining thing
and also expensive.

Fill up on trinkets: the paper of Chinatown.

All the uses for a candy dish.

You'll never lose your keys again, I swear.

So you died, remember?
And we were stark on the rim of a pond.
No.
I wish it had been a pond.
It was just any other parking lot.
It felt like we should be passing a bottle between us
to siphon something out or through.
Not even legally, in a brown paper bag.
But our palms were empty
and clenching
like a wave.

Closed For Business, I guess your face would have to read.
Would the sign be handwritten?

We were never two dogs playing in the snow.
We were never that suburbs dog learning in a swimming pool.

Sure, the bark looks blackest
when the boughs are snowed.
That's contrast.
That's the yin and yang of it man.

If we were children we'd have wanted someone taller
to put you in the sky.
We hope our dander made it down there with you
from when we leaned in to see what a good job they’d done with your face and how you smelled like the dentist some faint smile
into the pit

 

 

 

La Galleta


Who put the halo on the child's shiny head?
Is this a creation myth, then, if
I keep right along here.
We were on Grandma and Grandpa’s stairs and their
80s track lighting put a circle on
your head, sister face, and I said
Mom, is there a halo on my head too?
Kinda, she said.
Our toys on those carpeted Great Steps.
Steps when carved into hills prevent erosion in agriculture.*
And now you are learning Japanese.
If we are ever in Spain together
I will have to say:
"Si, yo puedo. Pero ella se habla Japonese."
And if we are ever in Japan
I'll keep my fat face smiling.
Have you ever seen, at least in pictures,
the stiff gold rond de jambe over the heads of the saints?
It looks like a cookie.
If we are ever at El Prado give me a boost
and I'll bring us down a mouthful.
Buddha probably gave away his
to feed some poor cat. Did he?
How do you say that?
Will they let us swim in rice paddies—
if there are any in Japan—
or is that too much like eating before
swimming.
If I knew the name of a particularly famous field or mountain in Asia
that used those agricultural steps, I would say it here.*
The steps keep the crops both watered and in place.
Don't they dress funny, all of them,
and such hats to keep the sun from
their crowns.

 

 

 

Umlaut


Consider the things you have: that neighbor's cat,
the cars (like threading needles, the shock of white) as they pass.
Consider the pizza box in your parking space, the mess
the raccoons made of your porch. Consider
the cooling coffee, the pinch of fat at your belt.
Consider that if you ever learn Finnish you'll have to figure out
what those bubbles over the Os mean
and just go back to bed.
Consider this the whole story:
Every morning there is a leaf the light touches first.
Okay, so the blonde boy may have gotten too drunk, there may
have been too many hands trying to shut the curtains
and no one got any rest.
But no one considers you the villain. Surely
if there is ever a movie made of this you will be played by a pair
of better cheekbones, by a lilting voice.
You're picturing it now as if it's been earned: you're casting.
Consider the part where you went back to bed.
Consider that people live on volcanic islands, settling over
(spilled wax on the table to be scraped off with a butter knife)
an accident, planting tomatoes, getting rocks in their shoes.