ERIN LYNDAL MARTIN
Erin Martin has had poems appear in La Petite Zine, H_ngm_n,
Coconut Poetry, and can we have our ball back?
Say goodbye to your cup of coffee.
Say goodbye to your Iceland postcards,
ginger in your hair, the last thing
you touched. Say goodbye to the bowl
of sugar on the table, this morning,
the sunshine placemat, the concrete of sidewalk
past the hedge that marks the end of your driveway.
Say goodbye to that. Say goodbye to old blue jeans
the indigo whitened around the seams, the soft stink
of pockets, the scraps of paper inside. Phone numbers,
candy wrappers, do you love her still, now thereís a
baby and itís not the one you wanted, now the cat
you named after sushi fusses at your feet.
Say goodbye to the band you named after a long-lost
ad campaign, the synthesizer warble, the flood
of a wa-wa under walls of candy lights. Say goodbye
to your shoes. To your kneecaps. Red licorice poured
into dosage cups by pink-haired girls. The stories
you tell later. Every place youíve left your car
overnight. Plugging your nose underwater,
just to see. The hackysack game on the corner,
the instamatic pictures you took of it.
Green vitamin drinks on Sunday. A greyhound
on his leash. The time you dressed as a ninja
and forgot your numchucks. A girl named Mary.
A girl named Clare. Say goodbye to flesh,
the sensation of falling even in your sleep.
The vertigo you get on swan-boats.
The dirt on your feet. Say goodbye to your
subscription to Aperture. Costa Rican dark roast.
Your clavicle. Your favorite lightning storm.
There they go. Your vertebrae are fading.
Youíre on your knees. Youíre doing fine.
He flew away
on a white dress, havisham
imploded, jaw and jugular
absent, sprung eternal
from amen, sky is
is. catastrophe of blood and clay
got to break this circuit, should have
studied physics, donít know what
I was doing when I left
this glass half full.
the light that likes you best
1. stretched out on the couch in the smoking pavilion, the stubble on your chin showing. the sunset is orange. itís a new moon so I planted today.
garlic and onions deep in wet circles on the ground, and then I scattered three kinds of lettuce. the way the seeds blew around meant luck was on its way.
2. last winter, a bear sat right in the fork of that aspen tree.
3. buddha is embroidered on throw pillows in gold thread. I hold one to my chest. they kicked you out of a twelve-step group because you didnít believe. that mountain, the one just behind the pueblo, you decided might as well be god.
4. your last night at home, you did acid with your mother. she had never noticed how lovely and black your eyes were. in reality, they are blue.
5. trees and shapes more fearful.
6. rojo, the boys say. rojo. they point at me.
7. you fill a hollow antlerís tip with marijuana. I hold the lighter steady so you can see. Iíve never gotten high with a doe before. buck, you say. does have no antlers.
8. laughing when the wind comes up over the gorge.
9. abe makes a strong drink, but heíll kick you out if you swear too much.
10. when you talk you stretch out your hands as if to make the horizon in the air. in the distance your fingers almost converge.
Letís get your bassett hound and a banana shake
and head down to the skull harvest for another year.
Itís a bumper crop and weíll make cider with my brand new press.
Some of them will be too high for me, so Iíll stand
on your shoulders and rattle the dead leaves with a rake.
Skulls will roll from bough to ground, and there Iíll be
with a flounced skirt to catch them all. Weíll mind the worms
and the rotten ones, tapping for a hollow sound.
The juiciest ones are fist-sized around. Their septums taste
of rain and owls. When the baskets are full, you must fill
your pockets too.. Pick out a good one for the car-ride home.
Itís a long day at the skull orchard. When our work is done, you
and me can split one.
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