I woke up with an amusement park Lodged in my esophagus. A roller coaster hitched To my spine. Carnies camped out in my lungs. I hammered an eviction notice to the front Door of my heart. I called to you in coos But you were too busy collecting rent From my spleen to hear. Nothing is free, not even feelings. Especially not feelings. Not even looking at the moon. Not even the cinnamon steeping From your spine. Or the poems We feed to the birds. If I jump out the window, will the ground know What to do? And what did you think About when you rubbed my skin To the bone? When you spent All of last week grinding winter Between your teeth?
Will Anyone Come for Us?
I bought us an island. It cost a pregnancy scare and two moles On my back we couldn’t afford To get biopsied. Still, it was worth it. I bribed the maps to forget there was an island I bought us. In return, the maps Demanded our firstborn, a gallon of skim, eight dreams Disguised as mantises eating their prayers. On the island we learned how to fall Asleep mid-kiss. Hello, We told the island, Let us be welcomed To you. The island took pictures of our clothing As they fell off of us. We laughed at every shipwreck That never made it to shore. Someone, somewhere, coughed love. We stayed still. And for a moment, We both believed in God at the same time.
Your Heart Is a Haunted House
There's a spooky sound to breath And let's not even mention love, I haven't grown that tall yet. When I grow tall I want to be Samson’s hair scattered on the floor of Delilah’s lap. I want to grow gills and make out In a lagoon. I want to be a lagoon. The last supermoon before We all immigrate to Mars. I want to be all of Mars. Build tornados in the basement Of my lungs. Call my dead sister Collect, ask her what It's like being alive twice. Every haunted house is a magic Trick I have yet to solve, And this morning I woke up speaking In time zones. You were days Gone, grown and all.
-- C.J. Miles lives in Iowa with his wife. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Forage, Moonglasses Review, Mobius: The Journal of Social Change, and Jazz Cigarette, among others.