MIRACLE MONOCLE | Issue Six, Winter 2012
by Mark DeCarteret

A third pill and a fourth, love, has you curled like a hornet I once saw embedded in candle wax at our daughter’s first communion and by the sixth has your snores eking out like a soundtrack for those toxins rearing up from the neighborhood processing plant. Yes, they’ve kept to most of their promises, erecting the swing set in somebody’s memory, replacing one river with another, so I guess we’ll go on cashing their checks in silence, our lives lived in past tense and swung from our necks.

Since I went to the kitchen for a warm-up you’ve opted for something like smoke or the start of a childhood prayer. No, I know that skin will never be skin again. Or your touch, touch. Earlier you’d told me that I’ve the temperament of scissors and that my body protested as I ate. And of course all it’s done with our hair—still having to rinse most things off, getting readings (having forgone the taste of each other), keeping down all those euphemisms we can no longer keep down.

That book on the bedside has horses. People brush them and muck out their stalls and lead them out into forest and mist. Yet their ears have been inked, each one named for a CEOs’ wife. We’ll call out from our rooms simultaneously. It would seem that retreating is all that we’ve mastered—two more of these magnets going at it in their prime. Could we teach ourselves to talk again, dearest? Of anything but that night that keeps finding its way into all thoughts of day or worse that light all I could think of to say was how much it was unlike any light I had hoped I’d be pressed into speaking.

Mark DeCarteret’s work has appeared in the anthologies American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon Press), Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader (Black Sparrow Press) and Under the Legislature of Stars—62 New Hampshire Poets (Oyster River Press), which he also co-edited. Flap, his fifth book, was published this year by Finishing Line Press.