I am never where my body is.

illustration of an etch a sketch with a lightbulb inside that has a skull inside. Bridge sketched across.
Art by Kristina Closs

Teletherapy

by Brian Tierney

The light of that

jet, overhead, is my mind I’m seeing so scintillant, unreachable.
I am never where my body is.
The first law of dreaming is what isn’t here

isn’t me; the second law is to show you what I see
is to show you how I feel: aluminum
siding the color of my skin
enwrapping the duplex where I lived, as a boy, by the ruins of a bridge

for what could not be united—
The message is frail.
When I check my phone

to remember I exist and I shake it and shake it I shake
myself, as if to clear the Etch A Sketch
of my face. If I’m dead inside

how would I know, how
would a bulb
check its own filament.

_____

for more of Brian’s poems, check out his beautiful new collection Rise and Float

Sooner or later everyone donates something

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“I Cannot Be Quiet an Hour”

I begin
to talk to violets.
Tears fall into my soup
and I drink them.
Sooner or later
everyone donates something.
I carry wood, stone, and
hay in my head.
The eyes of the violets
grow very wide.
At the end of the day
I reglue the broken foot
of the china shepherd
who has put up with me.
Next door, in the house
of the clock-repairer,
a hundred clocks tick
at once. He and his wife
go about their business
sleeping peacefully at night.

by Mary Ruefle (1952-)