Monday, April 27, 2015

Still Life with Archaeology

It was the year we all discovered our conjoined twins. Some were hiding in our hats. Some clung to our ankles. A few had been pretending to be our mothers. We recognized them by the tattoos on their wrists, the word effigy, which is Latin for copy. We took photos, bought them flip-flops. After a week of holding their tiny hands and washing their hairy bulbous feet, we wondered what to do with them. They were smaller than us, less pretty, smelled of vinegar and pepper.

We decided to build tree houses for them, then take away the ladders. It was windy when they first went up, and near dusk. Trapped up high, they stared at us, mumbling. It was windy when they first went up, and near dusk. The trees shook. Their hair whipped behind them, blew into faces, into mouths. The sound of their weeping was plastic bells, and dog claws on kitchen floors. When it rained that night, most of the twins washed away. A few shrunken pieces stuck to telephone poles, a few hung from power lines.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Still Life with Marble Head and Glove

It was the year we lost all our right gloves, so our right hands were chapped and cold. We didn't want to lose our left gloves too, so we wore them all the time, even in our dreams.

At night, our gloves are too big, flapping in the wet breeze. They become damp, covered with frost. We slip them off and suck on them, trying to warm them up.

I tell you not to swallow yours, so you do, like a lizard swallowing a fish. Everyone likes your style. Soon glove-swallowing is a dream epidemic; we wake up with green scales on our wrists, our tongues unscrolling to snooze the alarms. The left gloves are filthy, tattered. The trees have all fallen and become industrial bricks.

Under the table, a lake is drowning our gloves. Drowning them, then tacking them up to dry, plum lipstick stains on all the thumbs.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dear New Jersey,

With your yellow bird-like people and your people like birds, with your bisected jade skies and your sullen-faced nephews, with your sheets of dark glass replacing lakes, your floating teal dry-cleaners, your saffron clouds clinging to roads that end in staircases,

how you cuddle me as we huddle smoking on the whitewashed porch, while the crows call like broken hinges, as our unborn toddlers build the country's biggest purple Jacuzzi,

how you take my hand with eel-tongue fingers as you whisper about revolutionary-hatted ghosts, about steam-driven disasters in the underground railroad,

which is underneath us, right now, in this parking lot covered with antlers, in this backseat covered with ultramarine velvet, in this shallow hole we have dug in your backyard

to bury the things we cared about and forgot, under our pink and green apple trees, our lawns the color of LSD, under the persistent drizzle that tastes like persimmons and asbestos.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Under the Rec Room Sofa

Questions about home scrawled all over white looseleaf. A solid black square with a triangle on top, the white word “heart” in all caps in the center. Random pictures of birds: chickadees, nuthatches, a kingfisher tucked into apple blossoms. Ads about women's hair cut out and pasted on – a dozen vintage hairstyles involving curls and wigs. All the women are smiling and wearing lipstick, their eyebrows odd, solid, black and huge. A polaroid of an older shirtless man with glasses. He has yellowish red pimples all over his chest and face. His forearms are dark and hairy, his eyes a little too large and intent. A baseball card with a man in the midst of pitching, one leg up, his face covered with red thread and a leaf. The plastic green garnishes that come with take-out sushi, taped all over the margins.