Haley Larson

Two Poems

From Charles Bridge

Picture this – a Tuesday snapshot
of myself, alone on a curb of what was

surely Wenceslas Square. And you
and your love du jour (this is Sunday)

are one in the lovesick population
next to me, all holding your chins

in your hands, locking limbs
in two by two enslavement. I might find this

disgusting like I just found my life’s work
for something like seventy-five cents

on a half-off the half-offs table,
no worn corners or tinges of love,

not selling along a premium piece of real
estate and false esteem. Now

I am the proud owner of our home. I’ll dress the spaces
in Kafka books and independence, then the emptiness

won’t seem such a one-deep existence
in a two-bedroom flat. Is it so scurrilous to live in this

downfallen property? It’s plumbed, and on a side note
this side street has electricity. Like my touch

could turn this pile to fortune and back, you believe
in the good and see the impossible

evil inside of me. When I lay down
three coins on a sale table in Prague, I expect nothing

short of fulfillment. Unhand those pages and our past
and see them depreciate, before your eyes

wander back to your lover. And in pictures hung
on the walls of your home you’ll be asking: Who

might the girl alone in the middle
of those chin-cupping couples be?

Fishing and Other Skills

he harpooner

                              her hard pursuit
                              off tops of tall buildings

disregard the receipts the slips
of paper proving
lived she in dives
alleyways asking for streets
be followed be

                              fire escapes he

dire the night
that flies him
places for free
walks him on galaxies
reigning down depths

                              and back door

absorbed her
the night catacomb
of light aches and distilleries

the lily’s evening catastrophe
leaves her curled
herself into poses on shelves
of sun-lessened sight

he met the night
in brawny bond
the reasons the stay exuded

                              decay and twelve
                              mechanical ends

could promise bargains
possibilities of highways
beholding morning

pluck the tuning fork
tune key she is a saturday
night in this work

                              this endless enemy

his hands a deck throw
outside stones inside
glass broken crawls
wickedly to corners

this word smaller
than the last the tires

                              tolling on them

convictions are in
fallen weighty on the nail
stream the construction
yet to be done

a burned she the forest
lost in the branches the dry
voices she dreaming

he guesses the answer
wrong on occasions most
important the location
of extinguishers

the kind that can’t

                              pull back pull up
                              the biteless teeth

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