8.01 / January 2013

Two Poems

Inquiry into Coil

listen to this poem

Enough of obsidian
and enough of fine linens
and figs, let’s thrash

down onto a maelstrom
of tusks, a madman’s
pinbone blanket.

We’re not woodmice,
so let’s roil around
properly like a den

of prairie vipers.
It’s too brilliant
for all this formality,

let’s clamor loud
enough for our echoes
to frighten the wilds.

Inquiry into Architecture

listen to this poem

My sleeve isn’t full of trickery.
I don’t have a magic box to take you

away but return you unharmed.
I don’t have a key for the underwater

straightjacket and chains, and I hide
no impossible doves in my coat.

I don’t have visions or communion
with the beyond, but I’ll hollow

my body until it’s a crater, a posthole
for you to sink your tether into.

Or I’ll grow hair like a blackbear
cub if it’ll soften your sleep some.

Lay your head right here,
my lungs can be your creaking bed

or I can crack my bones and weave
a hammock from my tendons

for you to stretch between two
linden trees. Or I’ll eat wool

and down and rearrange my belly
into a nest for your kneecaps.

I can’t conjure. I don’t have any
sorcery to offer besides the will

to break this body into whatever
shape will keep you closest.

CJ Evans is the author of A Penance (New Issues Press, 2012) and a chapbook, The Category of Outcast (Poetry Society of America, 2009). He is the editor of Two Lines Press and a contributing editor for Tin House.
8.01 / January 2013