Leigh Phillips – Two Poems

Leigh Phillips

Two Poems

The Song that Doesn’t End

Constantly in jail, and constantly bailing him out like Styrofoam cups in a boat full of water with a hole in the boat and the boat in the Salt Lake where nothing will sink, not like a stone rolling down a hill, knocking the laughter out of a child like the first day of kindergarten and the trauma of socially streamlining adult conversation around the starchy fabric folds of weather and essence of the human heart wrinkling in the brutal August supposed to be thinning but not really kind of sunlight.

Constant in jail, inconstancy of alibi, he looses jobs like sweat soaks t-shirts, then stiffens and stinks when the wind pierces relief and a textbook holds truth in light, constantly truth told by fathers with fists of the hour hand, the minute hand threatening and the listeners listen, she’s a listener to the sounds he says the forest will make when she’s still in the hours before waking when the sun stealthily climbs upstairs and in between the folds of her hair draped like curtains over plastic skin that binds up every broken window.

They live in jails of each other, by the weaponry of their wedding rings, warming hands by the heat the oven creates when it’s empty, as always, of a wintertime bread.

This Poem Wants to Be a Meg Ryan Movie

Friends, friends, dating none, friends.
Friends, friends, friends, soon dating.
Friends, we are now all about dating.
Not friends dating friends,
we are friends with friends and we are also dating.
Friends, friends, dating. We are dating some, dating done,
one by one walking west to dating none. Then some.

Then none. Then friends. Friends leaving friends,
dating. Breaking. One by one walking. Leaving.
Twenty one, twenty-two, dating men. Eating men.
Men eating men eating women eating friends.
Dating. Breaking. We are slowly being solved.
One by one by one by dating. Twenty three,
twenty-four. Friends in bars, breaking. Drinking.
Dating. One by one by one by two. By two.
Two if by sea. One, two. Twenty two, three,
four, six, sealed, eight. We are almost done, date.

Friends don’t date friends. Friends friend friend
until done dating. Done Dating, We are Won,
we are pairing. One, two. We are faring well,
we are one by one by pairing to two, two if by sea.
Lovers up and arc away to night like two by two
by Noah’s flooding sea of…friend, I see the light,
how eagles arc in flight, so see if you see me
by the hungry coast of need

see if you see me by the coast of all that baby need
see if you see me by the coast of daddy don’t complete this need
you will find friends, one by one by unsolved spinster-friends,
backside small friends,
gone to you alone friends,
getting smaller to you alone, until we are not friends,
until like eagles dip alone, spread, lost to the light of sun
and you are lost in love and lost and lonely for a friend.

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