264 Readings | 1 Rating

STRAW MAN

Want a little smoke in the alley. Want a little kiss in the

Cornfield. Am parched, papery as an old hive. Open

Your arms wide for me now, love; show me the nothing

That is surely up your sleeves. Here there is a single word

That means the girl will come this way soon. Here there is

A girl who will make you her favorite in the morning

Just to leave you at noon. Wake me into your arms,

Love; set yourself up for a fall, a fool. Figure that the

Distraction you provide is just someone’s version of a

Golden rule. If I only had a brain that wasn’t paid for.  

Pour yourself into your work, dear—pull yourself together.

Cinch my love like a lit wick between your fingers. But

Remember: you get what you stay for. If country accident,

Then city conspiracy; if sweat on the small of the back, then

The wet feathers of a new-hatched bird. Fashion a proper

Fetish of my hair, the loose strands you find like indictment

All around you, the prop the actor needs to stay in character.

Tinker with your lines but hit your mark, the way shapes—

The lamp, the chair—emerge out of the dodgy dark like

Cartilage once our eyes adjust, love, once we while away

Our hours: you & your bed are cut from the same cloth.

Posted 09/04/14
Previously published in The Journal, 38.1 Winter 2014. Please consider subscribing; you can do so at http://thejournalmag.org/.
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