Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


From the Lives of My Friends

What are the birds called
in that neighborhood
The dogs

There were dogs flying
from branch to
branch

My friends and I climbed up the telephone poles to sit on the power lines dressed like
   crows

Their voices sounded like lemons

They were a smooth sheet
They grew

black feathers

Not frightening at all
but beautiful, shiny and
full of promise

What kind of light

is that?


*

The lives of my friends spend all of their time dying and coming back and dying and
   coming back

They take a break in summer
to mow the piss
yellow lawns, blazing
front and
back

There is no break in winter

I fall in love with the sisters of my friends
All that yellow hair!
Their arms
blazing

They lick their fingers
to wipe my face
clean

of everything

And I am glad
I am glad
I am
so glad


*


We will all be shipped away
in an icebox
with the one word     OYSTERS
painted on the outside

Left alone, for once

None of my friends wrote novels or plays, from the lives of my friends came their lives

Here's what we did
we played in the yard outside
after dinner

and then 
we were shipped away

That was fast—

stuffed
with 

lemons

Credit


From Flies by Michael Dickman. Copyright © 2010 by Michael Dickman. Used with permission of Copper Canyon Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Michael Dickman

Poet Michael Dickman's second collection of poetry, Flies, received the 2010 James Laughlin Award

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/lives-my-friends