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Two Poems

Came one from the rattleback of hunger
to defend name brand drippings. If starvation,
I win the cake. If we watch hope spread,
then removal of earwax photographs body’s
ampleness at sword’s point. The results
of continental drift dwarf heroic tattoo paraphernalia.
Another attack jettisons elsewhere, so to Paris to read
the cock & bow of chafing pages for circumstance.
Experimental universe undergoes yearly bombs
and the restless ants are sleeping late.
Their halls echo footsteps tiny but smaller
than expected. The way of human insect commercials
relies on silver pebbles rolling down disabled beings’
distended backs. Our caveat of ghosts stretched
speaks the next lotus on one man’s spine against
a posture’s town of quicker leaflet self resistance.

Angry Poem (A Parasite’s Story)

You can tell anyone to fuck off at any hour if you put your despair
into it—a flicker of switches and lightning

Under buildings, in basements, on subway platforms,
I thought I was making new things
from ostrich feathers and leftover chum
gathered in the bowels of this sewered city

Now I find we’re running on closed circuits
and national underwire
without the practice of armory shows or casually looking:

How did the church of privacy
collapse the quiet witness?

The earth hides behind a mask of tracks
and roads and I’ve long forgotten
the lure of paper skies under bulletproof moons
immune to my cap gun’s smoke

My fear of the news frightens me. Everyone is fed up.
Citizened people return on repeat to darkened rooms.
Cardboard food passes through entrails undetected.

A large plane looms, never landing.

My apartment’s last occupants left
their own species closely resembling
themselves in a corner and the eye
is useless without colored light

I’ve encountered lots of hand wringing

and finger wagging and poked around
the wrappings of so much disguise

That we write about the body illicit
alters the lighting
when nothing is finally possessed

Tonight, I hold onto Brooklyn Bridge’s barnacles
and swans cling to the center’s city
as my heart reaches toward them
wherever I go—whoever, I belong—


Amy King

Amy King's latest book, The Missing Museum, is a co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. King teaches English & Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College and serves on the Executive Board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. She also joins the ranks of Ann Patchett, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rachel Carson and Pearl Buck as the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the WNBA Award (Women's National Book Association).


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2004

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