Best of the Net 2007  

Sees the ______ and Waits

"The 'fog costume' passes in the distance..."

we wanted to get inside;
form scratchy eleisons in its throat.


A warm night's unfolding.

Cousin Planet grovelin' at the grotto.

The paperweight's fluid dries up,
replaced (spontaneously) with bees.

Our Meal Ticket waits in the belly
of a ceremonial cake
we've been decorating for hours,
our eyes heavy with sleep.


The rate of bioluminescence is up,
but not the way we want it:

an orb rising from the swamp
forecasting the harvest and the mileage getting there--
--voice confident, yet innocent of the scars,
"Like a child imitating an adult..."


You explained how your folks
planted each tree (w/their individual
gnarls and symmetry) on their lawn
to represent one of your brothers.

We'd both been drinkin',
putting egg whites in our hair.

You pointed to a row of stumps
"Now we're mysterious to one another again."

Just keep nodding, I thought.


Further down this road "the cigarettes
get longer, while the shorts get shorter."

Scouts leaning against the claw machine,
givin' the evil eye,

while we're dressed in colonial garb for the summer folk,
taking our turn in the stocks,
or chasing a wheel with a stick.

(the old hands hike their petticoats
over to the roadhouse)

and soon this world is lost to certain inhalants.

" the terrain a shine like
WPA murals--each blur tied to a function..."


Tonight a student's impressed into service
by the janitors (he complains openly
of their "post-coital wheezings"
when lifting heavy things).

While others gather round
a finished potato battery,
say earnest things, like "Somewhere,
dark birds circle the snowmen."

But beyond these gates, corvettes are butchered,
5-finger discounts from the ambulance.


When I lived at The Shitbox,
your daddy called it his "protectorate,"
kept popping over
flaunting nesting dolls to the hairnet crowd.

Though I'm only a de facto member
of this comedy of manners,

there's a room where my mistakes
are preserved in snow-globe form...shelves and shelves...


When the water came,
furniture crashed into the wall.

We clung onto doors under starlight,
called to each other for a long time.

We came down in a different city.
"There was no more sea."


But I have seen the sky become a skin
on which an Outsider could press hands, face.

And thought again:
Somewhere a mother's cooking a tongue.
A boy's in the yard becoming the lamb
he always wanted to be.

-Justin Lacour (Horse Less Press)