Dave Harrity's work has appeared in Copper-Nickel, The L.A. Review, Confrontation,
The Portland Review, Existere, The Cresset, and elsewhere. He also directs ANTLER,
a literary education and consulting organization based in Louisville.
I Was Told There Would Be Cake
Such strange presents—first a crutch,
then an urn.
& she'd set the table like we were going to have a little birthday party
with a party crown & tooty horn,
but the odd things:
red-eyed, voluptuous utensils precise on individual mats—
nylon rope, some oblong vegetables, one nine-tailed cat.
It's clear to me that what's not tied down is cared for, kempt
& ordered alphabet. Who wouldn't
pass out from the excitement
of stunts & safe words, woken to sweat & sage.
What the musk returned to me—garlic ejaculate in beads,
& it's all tricks like this
that have to do with the body,
not what I know the body to be—suspended, surged, sired.
& this course not so much a meal
as the promise of one coming.
Dream Coming From the Head of a Staff
Poise daggered down from the bank of a combed river—
collected bulbs & birthed beneath
the wall. Steady pilgrims, despite the frayed knees
& magnolia mouths & oh-my-gods & sweet bee stings
of ringing ears—a hole
to place the fingers, sainted bodies
left to sleep alone—an adjunct authority now a movable feast.
& you never see what it is for which you came.
& save no one,
as the small almond tree blooms out from it.
Dream of My Father's Wine Cellar
The old mimeograph machine groaned
with darkroom redlight &
a gagged, blindfolded man, strung to his
dirt-braid beard warped beams &
nesting blackbirds, bent naked streaks flipbooking
of a laughing horsewhip
Dream of Why She is Body Just Enough
Like she is/was this frame
of two less sutured eyes.
Some three holes.
& a few more of what I said before
under her skin.
& here I am &
licked wounds & how you made me
twice the son of hell
and that I like.
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