America [Try saying wren]

Joseph Lease

                  Try saying wren.

It's midnight

in my body, 4 a.m. in my body, breading and olives and
cherries. Wait, it's all rotten. How am I ever. Oh notebook.
A clown explains the war. What start or color or kind of
grace. I have to teach. I have to run, eat less junk. Oh CNN.
What start or color. There's a fist of meat in my solar plexus
and green light in my mouth and little chips of dream flake
off my skin. Try saying wren. Try saying
mercy.

                          Try anything.

Copyright © 2011 by Joseph Lease. Reprinted from Testify with the permission of Coffee House Press.

Copyright © 2011 by Joseph Lease. Reprinted from Testify with the permission of Coffee House Press.

Joseph Lease

by this poet

poem
            Why don't people 
tell the truth—you scare people—genocide and 
how the rich got rich—even a bus shines 
differently in the light, the glowing 
splinters—why don't people talk more about 
the government and power—how do I know 
the rich can't sleep—promise me the rich can't 
sleep—
poem
        1

Property is death: they had a body crammed in a mailbox and it was just a brown suit with