Issue 14
In the Closed Room

In a rented face,
on a little island
exiled from archipelago,
I open my thoughts
to the possibility
of sustenance.

                    Nearly balanced
                    the living scales;

                    but add a feather
                    or a thimbleful of water
                    or lips, nothing more
                    than warm air and curtain,
                    or a laced white dress
                    ripped along the side.

Mouth seething with crows,
wallpaper patterns,
petty rages.

Turquoise rumors
of upcoming foliage
compel it to plea
once more
for gentler boundaries.

And then there’s that dream
of a rose propped against
the missing half
of the crumbled wall.

                    wire-thin branches claw
                    from the window
                    their reflections,
                    which climb down
                    the pages of walls,
                    down the fat gray carpet,
                    to stand over the bed
                    we’ve placed precisely
                    in the storm’s eye.

As the air builds itself
high enough to stagnate
and I recline from your body
into a vacant lot,
thick drops of ink gather
on my lips,
trembling between

                    Enormous and solid
                    and colored like sand,
                    the regrettable coincidence
                    of each piece
                    perfectly fitting its hole.

Arrows of light
strike the parts
you’ve hidden
from the world—
          quivering, upright,
Dead center
the silence of your eyes
finally speaks.

                    The face of reality wet with sand
                    hangs limp and dusty
                    above the bed,
                    next to the ceiling fan
                    that refuses to circulate.

And each time it does turn
it lifts a spiral of
sheets and flames
and wings and dreams
and wallpaper and mirrors
and sound and meaning
up to its tiny light source
that appears from down here
like the full palm of the sun.

                    Like Venice without the water,
                    the walls are deep fissures
                    transporting nothing
                    but dusty light
                    through the closed room
                    with the unlocked door,

which opens by itself at night,
lighter than a body,
letting in air to play with the mirrors,
letting in the illusion of distance,
letting in that missing third
dimension of the crumbled wall,
before swinging closed again
like a ring.