POEM FOR THE PEGASUS FALLEN FROM GRACE
I think of nothing but escape until I burst into the larger cave of sleep
and dream of one-eyed desperados. All the dead poets stowed away stars
like bags of letters, and they live on in them now. Sometimes I can see their gas giants
through the globular mists that hover over March, and it’s good to have your mouth
to slide inside. I’ve put away a star for you every year since I was twelve and knew
the wind could not shake the heavenly bodies from the juniper. They would sit
in the tree, while we forgot every detail. Then came suitors and other fires
and barely holding it together. Each eyelash a dark radii inviting
you to its source, the stars climbing the lattice work. What I said about luck
was a lie, like what Perseus said to the Pegasus at the fountain.
He said, Come look in my hand. The night air is crisp as cedar, he said.
Imagine if the city could see the crown of but one wing.
FOR ME AT TWENTY-SIX, IMPOVERISHED IN SYDNEY
In the morning, we move like vessels in a slothy fog
and want only what accommodates: the gum tree lowing
to my window, the elevator button blushing to life.
In your travelogue, you categorize my genus, species.
When in love, you say you know it by the torrents of spiders threshing up your arm.
When October comes, you know it by the faces animated into vegetables.
Now it’s August, and Aeneas clutches his lance
at the bow of his bronze ship. I walk into a miracle—the only planet
for parsecs where I can ford into the clairvoyant blue of waves.
Tonight, your Brazilian dances night into its coffin. Italy unfastens its bra
and looks back. Tide pools glow and I think of the beginnings of life
on Titan. Tiny methane-fed beings boogying in an underground river,
the river carrying the unintentional chimera of organic life--
something it can’t even articulate, but scrawls its likeness on the rock face.
In August, Galvin’s lovers write each other’s names on the salt flats.
They slam doors. They throw their names into the wind like lances.
I come bearing daffodils, the many faces of Narcissus latched in a jar.
KYLE MCCORD is the author of three books of poetry: Galley of the Beloved in Torment (Dream Horse Press 2009), a co-written book of epistolary poems entitled Informal Invitations to a Traveler (Gold Wake Press 2011) and Sympathy from the Devil forthcoming from Gold Wake Press in 2013. He has work featured in Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Journal, Gulf Coast, Volt and elsewhere. He co-edits iO: A Journal of New American Poetry. He is a teaching fellow at University of North Texas in Denton, TX.