BRENT GOODMAN


Brent Goodman is the author of The Brother Swimming Beneath Me (2009 Black
Lawrence Press), finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and a Thom Gunn Award,
and the forthcoming Far From Sudden (2012 Black Lawrence Press). He lives and
works in Rhinelander, Wisconsin (USA).






The Sky Behind Us

Tomorrow you suspect another bird
might strike your 2nd story window.

*

The cordless phone swallows each collect call
from the Wisconsin Correctional Institute.

*

One cloud snaps taut across the entire sky.

*

This morning you wake up naked,
a sudden smudge angel
feather-pressed near the center
of the big bay window.

*

Every voicemail for a week
carries a message recorded
of a recorded message.

*

Cold rain. Between
your house and the neighbors'
the last Sugar Maple flashes over,
dripping sparks.

*

There is a sound in dream
which reminds you of sleeping
inside a glass drum.

*

Try to imagine
how your house might resemble
more sky.

*

You don't know anyone by that name.
You don't know anyone by that name.
You don't know anyone by that name.

Press "1" to accept these charges.

*

A body with two wings
wants to pierce your living room.

*

Your neighbors draw
their curtains.

You don't own
any curtains.

*

When the phone rings
you know exactly why
not to answer.

*

The bird's last thought
inside the glass
looks left.

Depending
where you stand
in the room
the angel appears
or disappears.

*

When our path reflects
the sky behind us
may we fly right
through ourselves.

*

You spend the rest of the evening
wondering whether you might be
related to someone named

"Sherman."

*

Outside,
three doves on a power line:

one facing, one away—

Where is the third bird?



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