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,
nocturnal fantasies.
& 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—
mangrove buttresses,
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

Of bones:

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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