I Say the Thing for the First Time
& there’s no taking it back now.
What comes next? Charcoal underbone,
darkroom for soliloquy & irises wide
at home. Some underside party popping
off & ending with me counting resignations
on a couch made from my last pennies—
copper profiles cushion deep, dull
with emancipation & worth almost me.
Button nicks instead of eyes. Green
patina instead of skin over presidential
profiles. How to separate these awkward
exhales from the marinating revivals?
The song in the park across the street
dials up something endless about love
& big sunflowers, but I can’t split
this primal reflection from its primary
leather. Sneakers & skeletons arrhythmic
in their leaving & squeaking: twisting
in somebody else’s garden in the middle
of a cracked city near a river so thick
with its own beat-up history, it’s already
eye level to the flocking blackbirds.
Copyright © 2019 by Adrian Matejka. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 2, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.