Jaimie Gusman

Two Poems

Still life with Courtney Love

By Wednesday I am Tuesday,
and by that law his shirt unbuttoned
an Ohio summer over a bar-mat.
But this is not a whiskey-dam,
a hole to bum your sleep in,
or a rock and roll band.
I said, this is home,
my lips a hum in the sink.
This is a motel lodged into space.
Sometimes his ghost throws racquet balls
at the television and it feels like tin mallets
went apeshit on my occipital lobe.
Silent things fall down
and mysteriously break
apart in my bones.

The debris fertilizes the lawn,
the garden that if you walk by
enough times will realize
is a graveyard, a scarf
you cannot touch.
Someone in a photograph,
a someone I no longer know,
creates buzz-killing boundaries.
I leave lilacs and rosaries by his Oak and stone.
The time will come to get over
feeling a hand swift upon my neck,
to fit fibula to talus and walk off
the magnetomotive force
between a rooster and his tree.

Driving out

The construction was left out all night,
the sagging sky perished on the soggy road.

A project manager must have forgot the traps,
to put up orange cones, hold out rain-buckets,

come home to his wife and take off his clothes,
bathe the baby with hands that touched his shoes.

I drove the car      (to Orlando and Cocoa Beach) (to drug-dealings and Gun Club road) (to an
unnamed mountain and the Atlantic pier) (to the Atlanta fog inside my mouth) (to the unlocked
door inside a hammered twin bed) (to double beds with double-sheets)
to sleep over arm as pillow

to crawl out his window

to slip back in,

thieve my things.

In the engine
a wife prepared, I love you, too
while preparing a silent breakfast.

This means the moon
is small and awake,
tastes like rope between each braid.
This means the moon
is in someone’s Nebraskan attic
lower and closer to our feet.

Before tucking himself into a blue yarn
he thinks about the empty side of the road,
silver cashmere on his hands.
He writes, maybe the last time, yours
till Niagara falls

and falls a ladder that’s had it up to here.

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