In the dream, instead of lady parts down there, I had a Bundt cake—
slightly burned, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, but more obviously, its hole.
When I was young I was stupid. I thought I was good for what I didn’t
do. I’ve made a life of appearances. You were here. I have the cave
left where we hollowed out the pumpkin flesh,
our spoons clicking. And that was some light. It, too, is a kind of
throat. The reason why people make Bundt cakes is about increasing
surface area so that everybody gets some crust. Design being the first
accommodation. Why does obvious have to be a bad thing? The thing
is defined by absence. And you aren’t here.
Description of an Abandoned Silver Mine
Full well, I knew: eyebrows from the couch, a couplet of cinema. Remember on the train,
the men in orange robes, the clean cut tonsure, the younger one reading on his tablet.
Wanting is terrible. I knew full well standing at the kitchen sink.
Some directors have a way of expressing musculature through light. Time is an optic.
From on high, pools of runoff, amber on the shore, dark in the middle.
An immense and tragic beauty complete with smelting piles and books we carried
loose in our arms like children. You knew full well the water
piped in like music was boring. It’s stunning the depths we go to,
the carotid, conditions we negotiate for an understanding: ores
and eithers, glittering among the coffee grounds, in the elaborate filing and folding, towels
and trowels, vowels and vocatives, standing at the mouth, wholesome and reckoning.
I want out and want in at the same time.
-- Lindsay Illich is the author of Heteroglossia (Anchor and Plume, 2016), Rile & Heave (Texas Review Press, 2017), which won the Texas Review Press Breakout Prize in Poetry, and Fingerspell (Black Lawrence Press, forthcoming 2020).