Wednesday, February 23, 2011

'At Last and Everlasting' by Reb Livingston

This is where we surpass the love of mothmen and mothers

and foretell burnt wings, death by hummingbird

estimators arriving much too late to the scene

and this is usually when he laces her back

and then his coffee

there's hot comfort on the side, comfort belonging to someone else

and he named the island after another because the name he wanted was            forbidden

and it began in a valley, ravaged by cargo trains

dragging loads of coal, dusty smutty coal

suck the coal, pray for the coal, what's wrong with you

she specifically said never kiss the coal and there you go

quarreling with bed lamps, attracting the wrong creatures

pick these walnuts, peel the rot, watch these girls

these ones aren't permitted past the church

and these can go till the end of the lane

whatever you do, don't let them rip off the wings

girls are so cruel

coal sucking Venuses, cartwheel thrusting harlots

and when he says coming through, he means passing through

that means you ready the casserole and let him roll

and she means it all, every bit, and knows that cornbread will make you sick

and there's tainted tuna for dessert and those late trains that

she doesn't want you talking to – sound amazing

and they're totally different in the dark

fluttering, channeling their depressing little omens

dreamy romantic trains and moths, chugging towards that light

and she's threatening to hang herself and she's asking for $50

and she has a cat and there's a lot of foreclosures in this city

and who would have thought anti-lock brakes would shake like that

and who would have thought kissing coal could be like this

there's a thousand chemical reactions and they all warm apples

into decay, apples loving their creaking branches

even after dropped, watching from the ground

those apples know all

the squirrels pilfering nuts, lavish deceitful squirrels

brown licey beautiful squirrels, it's time to rethink the medication

time to give up the ghost, she doesn't see it anyhow

she's shutting the ambulance door, the girls whisper emergency

the girls twirl their mustaches and tie the specter to the tracks

the girls tell the specter to step into that light and leave their moths alone

bitchy home-wrecking wraith, dirty train-hopping banshee

it's a miracle, it's forever, we're doomed

we're wearing matching smarty pants, we're disasters, we're marooned,

festooned with soot and stickiness, we've come a long way

through all that haze, on the backs on insects,

streetlight by streetlight, endless blocks ahead

(from her book Your Ten Favorite Words, Coconut Books, 2007)

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