Brandon Shimoda

 

 

Nights of Columbus

 

 

Recite a large print love song

into my lower back

 

 

Look at my friendly head

appearing in the dropped-panels on the ceiling

 

 

Like a dragon it smirks flame

 

 

I applaud you as a founder passing

 

 

 

Angkor

 

 

Last night we wondered,

who would win:        

the spirits of the demons

or the demons of the spirits.

 

The demons only see two things,

two possible bones suggesting wing,            

and the spirits only see one,

one possible bone suggesting wing,

 

infolded in the archivolts.

 

We passed through the gate.

We wandered among the stones,

tempted to eat the windfallen figs.

 

All eyes spiked red, coolly watching us.

 

The spirits of the demons were clear:

back away from the syconium.

The demons of the spirits were clear:

come towards the syconium.

 

We were clear, and could feel a fluttering

from our collars, unfolding itself

in fan elaborations. We are,

 

 

 

they sing, we are,

they sing, to demons and

to spirits and

 

 

 

squash ground   

we are, with courage and

squash fruit

we are, with courage and

 

 

 

Keeler Tavern  

 

Balls embedded in the outer walls of

the house, circa 1700’s, still

 

rattle the pewter plates

as if they had

only been shot

just moments ago.

 

The fire in the kitchen

illuminating the burnt brick hearth

is fake. You men

 

and women – proposals

of form –

 

are all

nearly dead, shown

off your horse-drawn hellos,

 

competing with your costumed neighbors,

for the curator's bow

and air.  

 

Women in the sculpture garden

mouth commands to their men

who stare

 

at every alloy lily that passes by.

 

You will be the sister one

 

among

the slathering, obsequious

musket-range.

 

                                                            The Oaks.