Rob MacDonald lives in Boston and is the editor of the online
journal Sixth Finch. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming
in Octopus, Hanging Loose, No Tell Motel, Anti-, Diode, Free Verse,
H_NGM_N, Sink Review and Vinyl. Last New Death, a chapbook, is
available from Scantily Clad Press.

After Trance Manual

Was it love or lack of love
that made me feel bullets
dagger from all angles?

Lack of water led me to a rifle.
My rival led me to you,
night-princess of the dunes.

How could I interview you?
I never learned the language.
The desert gave me only one lesson:

Fatigue is trudge,
love is shovel;
keep cool by closing your eyes.

After Darkmatter

The anesthesiologists sip
Diet Coke from Styrofoam
at a secret Sunday meeting
in a basement apartment.
One swears to have found
a strange attraction
in the spine of a book
by an anonymous author.
They compare notes—
a twitching eyelid, a word
mumbled mid-countdown.
A heart is split in half,
a cerebellum cross-sectioned,
but they're left perplexed,
wondering what it takes
to make the nose glow.

After Hyper-Ballad

You and I
can stop trying to balance
on this pointy peak.

We can stop
dropping meat cleavers and catalytic converters
through the clouds.

Cartoon violence is not the answer
unless the answer is to embrace one another
with razor wire.

The whispers we hear
are melting glaciers, not jealous lovers.
We are cold or alone or both,

but we've knit one another
parenthetic sweaters and left glasses of warm milk
there by the woodstove.

After Air Aid

When the lights got too brutal
and her bruises broke through,

she let her still-perfect skeleton soar
up through her skin, through the sky.

Her bones began to orbit while
way below, babies were born

in frost hospitals, in urban infernos,
on the banks of rivers with no names.

While memories of her evaporated away,
gray horses were shot between the eyes,

lies were etched in limestone walls.
And then her bones, white as ever,

curving back to earth, unnoticed.

Back to Front.