weekend-reads[the crab]; [the ram]

Liz Robbins

[the crab]

elaine, let me speak of the sign under which my folks were born,
the miraculous blue death we’re sure to carry in our female parts
as we were chosen

to not use them intentionally—we may be emotional peasants but
not blind, no, not ruined—we grew more slowly, more fast than
girls who grew lush herb

gardens of people in their bodies, but we’re all under one blue
umbrella with zigzag clouds—a sign, as we have maybe three
hundred grand hours left—

our guts may shudder with human glass shards but the end disease
is not upon us yet, no, not that we know, not yet the tree upon which
the green moss feeds—

yet my mind still grows its red berries, some days sweet, some
deadly, this the lesson

we built a hut with a thatched roof and the holes get us wet so
we take care now where we stand and patch—i may be misty but
i never shot a gun—

now if only everyone, all at once, kept on the safety—

if you light a candle for me, make sure it’s red, don’t forget, lick a
thumb and pointer—we’re both holy and aflame, so before sleep
save yourself, douse the wick

[the ram]

everyone’s pissed about his life station, joel, me too, this job sucks
and it’s the best thing that ever happened to us, imagine, real
redeemable checks to be

surrounded by the young, no it’s not locked eyes on a disco floor
but neither is it a raft with finned horizons, more a box of kittens left
on the back porch we must

take in, feel the weight of the lead apron, the horns, the dank breath,
us to whom relationships are death and life, and here everyone
including us is lonesome

and toxic and sometimes not—i lose perspective, too, but then i’m in
the small-town diner, the only place in town, and the waitresses snarl
because their chicken is

perfect in its salt, it turns me into what woolf called vivienne, a string
of live weasels around eliot’s neck—joel, your eyes haven’t yet resigned
to patination, and if you

knock on my door, remember you’re starting a ring of concentric
circles on what’s essentially a square, meaning i may be playing statue
but for you sometimes i’ll move

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