On the island Of caring as much As we can I am A blimp bursting Into flames. Each Morning egg whites, Sassafras tea before We go to the valley Where the deer Go to die. Antler Soup. We float The muck in arks Of ribcage, skull. To practice creation We loop floss around Our pinkies & knot Dragonflies to The other end. It Is a reward for all The close calls We have made It through. We look good Smudged with Dandelion, plush With cardinal feathers. At night, lying Awake, our guilt Rising up from Us like solar flares, I listen to the other Beasts snore, Wondering if they Are as afraid Of being alive As I am. When Morning comes I am going to Start building A coffin that I will each night Until I am gone Sleep & dream in.
Some Days You Kill & Some Days Your Guts Bleed Out All Over the Kitchen Tiles
The night air glitters. Around me, the sharp
Voice of the breeze. I treat the dead
As best as I can In this blinding dark
Because they are always Here, singing all around
Me. Each day it gets More hot. I am afraid
It’s true: I would rather be Wretched than nothing
At all—I am not An animal, I am the
Animal. I say I want All the answers but no
One really means What they say.
-- Alex Lemon’s most recent book is The Wish Book (a finalist for Best Poetry Collection by The Writer’s League of Texas). He is the author of Happy: A Memoir (Scribner--(a finalist for Best Book of Non-fiction by The Writer’s League of Texas) and three other poetry collections: Mosquito, Hallelujah Blackout, and Fancy Beasts.