My worried floor a ceiling, I am low
& close by. The clock’s four digits
have a reverent sum.
The tell is order given, decoy
pitched by a sourceless wake,
angle pushed through segments,
seeking pattern, settling for shape.
The door becomes a wing,
the room its battered crane,
& the drum a hum.
Memory clenches solid, men clamoring, men quiet like fallen coins. That’s commitment, he insults me. True, I wanted to be everybody you touched at once. I wanted to slam the door open and the gale to pin us both. Life goes on, my quarter sticks in the slot, dream machines sieve fine the soil of your plot.
Where I’m frank, I can’t keep doing this; why the receptor shivers, bears its shoulder against the door. Who lives, who ties up the excess of strings, who welds the circle back into place? Into columns, the words frightened into shape, into prizefighting the press and, hapless, reversed. My foot fused to my rushing mouth. Contained, can’t take it, the gutting against the structure. Lieu of hail untouched by the wipers. And there’s trouble below. Go long.
These landscapes fill to coherence and combust upon exposure. The eye is a doctor, pockets of gauze, unavailable for the foreseeable future. Any figure would recede, a square into plaid, if I could anticipate the failure of my hands. If I could mete out my dexterity, find its average and distribute. Instead, a city on red waters, pointe shoes hanging from a post on the dock, birds reappearing where the stars dry clear. The snake swallows the house, the glue loses stick, the exit is right here.
Preset names rig the pictures together. A tear in the linchpin, its eye gone transparent; why wry, raised voice? The ilk which one settles upon. It’s on her like pollen, like her head on her neck. It’s near her like an adjacent well. The bridge is clear but the air is misty and together they are stark.
Tell me what taps my way
on thousands of rubies
chafed to a surface.
When the weight is enough, where
the face comes off
with pressure, where
the pillar breaks the picture,
why the plan has changed again.
Tell me lodestone to lodestone
the distance I pend, the color
and powder of my streak
when scraped, and
the genius I apple for
to take the apple, along with my hand.
ALANA SOLIN is a writer from New Jersey. She graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2022 with an MFA in poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Afternoon Visitor, Second Factory, Tyger Quarterly, jubilat, and elsewhere. You can find more at alanasol.in.