6.12 / October 2011

Two Poems

La Chupacabra Returns In Form Of Kitchen Appliance

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Gobbling bones beneath the sink.

Then you will be redeemer, you will be
the whirl of the garbage disposal.

Broken wineglass on the coffee table. You held it in your hands
and then it wasn’t. The dust of snapped tibias still lies in the bowl
by the refrigerator.

We lit a candle for dinner and blew it out. I am defined
by my ability to breathe

almost anything.

Thousands of years ago, the city would demand
the toes of its children in sacrifice.

Let’s pretend this is the same thing.


Self-Portrait as Matchstick

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Morning: I speak in parts. Echo of hammers kissing wood.

I dreamed I told you all the girls I slept with
while you were away.

I dreamed I found the book
I told you I couldn’t find.

On the counter: half an orange. Tickle of pulp
crashing down on your tongue.

Last night the clouds deflated like party balloons,
& the mists clung to our jackets. You told me
you were the leaves of an oak & in the distance, the lights
of the capitol fluffed the pillows of the sky.

What follows the rains is not always blessed: today, the first taste
of spring on my balcony-

I found the sulfurous head that kissed your cigarette
next to my back tire.

I’ll imagine the reddening of my face in the sun
is just me
ready to be struck.


Michael Shea's work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, RATTLE, Salt Hill, and elsewhere. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Mississippi, where he is the recipient of the John and Renée Grisham Fellowship in poetry.
6.12 / October 2011

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