Room in a Tem­pest

The Iowa Review - - NEWS - Kaveh ak­bar

Mimmo Pal­adino, 1984

my lone­some pink egg you have to pay close at­ten­tion in the din of an an­gel’s blar­ing trum­pet wild chicory rocksmoke and nightly sleep if you wait on that clay floor long enough even­tu­ally the stars will bore through you like the tun­nel­ing white­worms that tore the town’s prize bull from hoof to horn re­mem­ber the bones’ song we are glad to be scat­tered we did lit­tle good to each other again you’re con­fus­ing in­sides with out­sides a brass heart and the warm blood clot­ting around it there is such a del­i­cate mem­brane be­tween kind­ness

and weak­ness a chip of ice in a folded palm when the fish­birds ar­rived they tore apart the flow­ers sprout­ing from your jug the bruised petals lay like un­peeled faces in the but­tery fire­light now your seizures be­gin to run to­gether now they are bliss­ing over their own tex­tures

to keep hold through the vi­o­lence the birds slide their claws into your back the punc­tur­ing al­most ten­der though such erotic po­ten­tial is lost on a mind so blank as yours you are a rock with a cave in­side it’s hard to even see it through the fog your poor mouth await­ing its next dis­as­ter steam is a ghost who lives in wa­ter he owns only a min­now’s sneeze of time when you hear him whistling up wel­come him sweetly he will wrap like a cloth over your soft gold eyes to hide them from the birds their hor­ri­ble beaks

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