Avatar Review

Ethan Elgin

December 7, 1951: 7pm

It's those families kids make
of toothpicks and olives;
sometimes placed against watercolors
of houses on fire.
Crayon wax crawls through diamond circuits
in ice storm wires that extinguish streets.
And they ask things like *What for?* And *What for, now?*
Responding in the broken syntax of radio-waves and
Russian pilots captured for codes and rations so many years ago.

The ice captain climbs up the fire tower and denounces
Spain because he can. Not for the politics of treason
but the elements just never fell right on his face and shadows.
His wife and child clamor through bolted iron port holes
and wait for rations and sprigs of vanilla
because they know no better.
Beige plastic shopping bags with the Food Lion emblem filled with
matches and
wicks and
hairnets and
Cosmo quizzes to keep them humble.

Saints pour through the cracks and fissures from the earth above
and they know the storm is over
and their child is a prophet with her paints.
She sits patiently awaiting second grade and smoldering sunsets
chewing, absent on vanilla grass in the winter
miming the word *go* with mirror eyes.

Sunken Ships, Not Pirates

It's like those people who have rooms filled with
pictures of themselves.
As though they need some constant reminder
of just how their eyes settled on their face
or where their teeth shift to on their lips when they say "fuck".

We stared at ourselves in the mirror debating whether or
not we looked like a couple.
You said it reminded you of this picture
taken on the Lusitania of some Irish couple
moments before it plunged Atlantic-ward.

I thought of the symbolism in secret munitions,
but that wasn't what you meant at all.

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