Russel Swensen – Two Poems from What Happens NextRussel Swensen
Two Poems from What Happens Next
“It will be forever lost.” The voice rings out
a teenage bell.
I thought you were in the bible.
That’s what death means. That you are in
the desert. The desert was made out of really
I tried to break you out of the bible. It was
harder than jail.
It was a puzzle. I had to solve the bible.
“The mind as well. Now that you have dropped
the carrion (the water
thick as muscle) you must pull from it
the same poison you put in. Now your words
do not limn the darkness— they
are— hard as coral, deeply stained. They
fester like cormorants
in Alaskan oil.”Erik
The cross on the wall shines like
a nectarine, curls like wet paper. Christ is stretched out
a scribble of lightning— when he speaks
I think it will be you. The mouth twists open
a white song
drifts out like something from a fog machine—
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