Three Poems

Keep Roof

The emotional brain is a dog. You dog! I tell it. It spies an exit, desirable for its communicable mood. It treats people as exits. For extraverts, it’s buy-one-get-one exits. Every test of love then must be done across a boundary. Whoever’s thoughts are the threshold for staying or going holds the power in the relationship. With polymerase chain reaction one can make many copies of a single DNA segment, but if there's an air bubble, the DNA can slip and fall. I slipped and fell according to my DNA. My opaque bubble eye cannot tell the difference between one hand and the next when it’s wrapped in sentiment. My mouth bouquets into musical knots, and when we kiss, we cross pollinate major and minor keys. My pierogi chin waits to be sucked up by a severed finger attached to standing water, something like seaweed. Even so, I dock at the cerebellum with a pocket full of speech, balanced like a breakfast on an exercise ball. A dense shadow crosses my path as I rest: a lack of emotions outside of verbal expression. I take the stairs down the throat, find him consistently moving on the right of things and lying on his right side. He can’t stand having his itchy heart underfoot. 

Lust is a voice recorder catching heel clicks in the wind. The brain on lust becomes sensitive to inquiries fed to blue skies. Thinking dwindles to a type. A long, blonde sound comes from the office, where a ladybug dreams she has one extra spot on her body; she tried out for stained glass but lost to triangles and other shapes with phenotypes displaying age. I connect the dots and get an animal. But it’s a shape twice removed: through the cracker and the clouds. The tongue keeps roof when charting silence. The visible spectrum of peace. Where on the spectrum would you be, staring sleepily at an illuminated rectangle the size of a shoe box on your sofa? People whir their tongues eventfully only to make money or gain consent to pet a human’s skin. It isn’t long before they’re walking on detachable, purple floor and have to play I’m glad I’m not them to cull their anxieties. It’s fun to try to guess a patient’s prepositions in relation to heavy illness nouns. Productivity happens when one changes one’s mind. Productive relationships? If I had a type it’d be bilingual. Correspondence is busy work. Are you entitled to any more of this coffee? / I’m entitled to roadwork and housework, surveillance on all sides.

Suddenly It Occurred to Me

If therapy seeks perfection through duality, and Buddhism celebrates imperfect oneness and unity, then normalcy must operate in threes. A chromosomal mutation spawns three selves, one for each time conspiracy. Morning is nude, cradled in a chalky monster swivel. After two thousand years, their cuddling has finally managed a seated position. She can turn her whole one-third body to look at you, but in her periphery’s the zoo (who’s your friend?). A blue campus emergency call pole sticks out of the landscape like a whale. We go whale watching, but she goes into the whale, where sunshine and spit make rainbows. We have tried to soothe her by hanging a corn kernel disco ball emitting heat and light. But mostly, she’s fading like an old dog. Afternoon is just a snapshot of a different day. She makes to-do lists that grow into a heavy tail she drags around like a bridal veil. Her birthday is a funeral for all she has not yet accomplished. Night has wings and staircase legs. Coffee, the racecar, has since left her peachy bloodstream. Flowers grow out of pretty thoughts: a sunset on the horizon propelled by eyelashes that lift clouds. Archeologists dig up a fossilized fourth self at a rundown 7-11, where a sleepwalker arranges derelicts for a photo opportunity. The orgy kicks up Cheeto dust off white makeshift bleachers. 

RYAN MIHALY and KAROLINA ZAPAL live and write in Greenville, South Carolina. Their collaborative work dwells somewhere in the crossroads between English and Polish, text and image, music and poetry. They recently completed a series of artist residencies in Ireland, Macedonia, and Slovakia, where they began writing a collaborative novel and translating the poems of Halina Poświatowska.

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ISSN: 1533 2063
FALL 2019
Two Collages