Dead Lift

I lay on my back and ground smooth the seams joined underneath by nets to mud dust. No, I stood and looked into the whiteness of the sky and scrubbed the clouds. No, it was a rhythm of static crawling into my arms as they sanded. I stood on a ladder and saw through a mask. That day finished in my lungs and left itself in my eyes as well as everyone’s. The black racing stripe along the walls was later, the crushed snake on the road you had to bring down a brick upon stayed sooner. Listen: all the invisible bones hang still across the shower rod, that bath stripped of its cream skin to show blue tiles beneath the fifties. It was the loveliest color I ever burned onto my hands in secret silence. And you found it, as someday all vapours will find the sky. How what we see stays up, even these by now completed directions fail to make clear. And then, as though this story might continue tomorrow, I sat next to the azalea I called a rhododendron and the rhododendron you called an azalea; I sat on the concrete cuff and heaved my way through a quart of ice and lemonade you handed me. It wasn’t that day but some other, in some other, transomless room, when I spotted you last, my upward grip as light as flour on my hands, so heavy on another’s.



I hear the wind. I have been thinking about hearing it. It answers more questions than it raises. It’s been so long that the spaces seem too big. If you move slowly each toad, tiny or fat, will leap out of your way, was what I asked for. Departures calculate immortal longings, tinged with the autumnal melancholy of impossibility. My dog’s jaw’s bolus just ruptured again and drained along his chest. I washed it from a lettuce clamshell. The meat is still resting. Think of what runs down a runnel. Look behind the pages of a magazine, the grass chases him down the hill and the knife gets picked up. There has been a death in the family. Slush hisses over the curbs and it should have been another limo, he said, not an LTD. I got the call; the quarters rolled underbed like a dog in a clover with shit tangled in its middle. Not a single better boy hybrid pellet came up from the entire pack, packed for this year, and so I wrote for my replacements. Sometimes, while I am sitting here writing, and my dog is lying on the Persian rug beside me, and we are listening, hearing the wind, the entire muscle of his body pounds the floor from his brain on down, humh. But in the morning, weeping is just wind. No one knows it.


Torn Soul Approach

You, pairing socks from a basket of white socks; who would think to touch you? Still, though less than now, a brilliance shadows your wishes, becomes your eye from vacant windows, vies perhaps for spots of your grizzled time, slips quick verses beneath your wrists in ways you can’t but pretend to understand. Oh yes you, in Swedish Born boots and special sweaters, feel slowly, striding slowly down those wax-winged halls, those same black boots meeting the black glossy floor, the music those shoes makes moving through your knees, yours alone, your broken knees; and to hear in the morning such smaller, quicker steps behind you, you faux Ukrainian in your skin of post-diseased lugubriousness, and in the afternoons nothing, nothing—to remember, in moments of secluded insolence, who you claim you were to be, and have thought yourself into believing you are being, is what is left to deepen this hour’s substance. As though, after this, you were choosing still, or still might be chosen.

THEODORE WOROZBYT is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Alabama and Georgia Arts Councils. His books are The Dauber Wings (Dream Horse Press, 2006), Letters of Transit, winner of the Juniper Prize (The University of Massachusetts Press, 2008), and Smaller Than Death (Knut House Press, 2015). He teaches at Georgia State University..