poetry

30 days of poems: day six

Lucifer

BY DEAN YOUNG

You can read almost anything
about angels, how they bite off
the heads first, copulate with tigers,
tortured Miles Davis until he stuck
a mute in his trumpet to torture them back.
The pornographic magazines ported
into the redwoods. The sweetened breath
of the starving. The prize livestock
rolls over on her larval young,
the wooden dwarf turning in the cogs
of the clockworks. I would have
a black bra hanging from the shower rod.
I would have you up against
the refrigerator with its magnets
for insurance agents and oyster bars.
Miracles, ripped thumbnails,
everything a piece of something else,
archangelic, shadow-clawed,
the frolicking despair of repeating
decimals because it never comes out even.
Mostly the world is lava’s rhythm,
the impurities of darkness
sometimes called stars. Mostly
the world is assignations, divorces
conducted between rooftops. Forever
and forever the checkbook unbalanced,
the beautiful bodies bent back
like paper clips, the discharged
blandishing cardboard signs by the exits.
Coppers and silvers and radiant traces,
gold flecks from our last brush,
brushfires. Always they’re espousing
accuracy when it’s accident, the arrow
not in the aimed-for heart but throat
that has the say. There are no transitions,
only falls.

Dean Young, “Lucifer” from Fall Higher. Copyright © 2011 by Dean Young.  Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press.

Source: Fall Higher (Copper Canyon Press, 2011)

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