In the dark, I count fingers,
Watch lightning spider
Over the mountain’s toothy peaks.
All the while, the cupola grows
Cloudy with accidents—
Dark blossoms sticky and wet,
Clinging shadowy with reincarnation.
Yesterday eight and now, eleven,
Memories distilled, frayed.
The neck-breaking spiral
Of this morning’s junco
Landing on a gnarled fence,
A surgeon’s fingers tapping
His way through afternoon sleep,
Breaking a heart into ballet
Or the several postures of pain
A body makes falling unconscious
In the bathroom while violins roar
On a television straining with blue
Light. The fatigue of healing
Interrupted by the susurrus
Of an empty shower. An ear, blood-
Smeared cheek and bit lip—
A sterile, sweating tiled floor.
Alex Lemon is the author of Happy: A Memoir, and three poetry collections. His writing has appeared in Esquire, AGNI, Kenyon Review, BOMB, New England Review, Open City, and Best American Poetry 2008, among others. He lives in Fort Worth, TX.
“Silt” originally appeared in issue 10 of Post Road Magazine.
Read more Alex Lemon in our Emo, Meet Hole issue (TLR Spring 2011).