Growls the child: I'm a man, I make the dark, as she lurches, bear-like,
in a party dress, paws framing her face, and is gone.
Boys dash past in suits trailing balloons though the dark bar
to the bright lobby. Things feel fake in specific ways, like Christmas plastics.
I have a vision of the future as a reception that never ends, a slim bride
growing plump, a groom downing a pint then rolling up his sleeves, baring his teeth
while she gazes down at her phone. Men come up to the husband
and women to the wife, so much winter white it feels like a hospital,
a fake hospital, spray-tans and grand-aunts in feathered hats,
it feels like fake society pages, it feels like a monarch is coming,
like another country has gotten married to the wrong man,
and all the pale children are running around like animals
with the same teeth, and walls muffle everything beyond them.
Deirdre O'Connor's book, Before the Blue Hour, received the Cleveland State Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Poetry, Cave Wall, Crazyhorse, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and other journals. She directs the Writing Center at Bucknell University, where she also serves as Associate Director of the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets.
BLDG A, STE 4-22
Vision at a Dublin Airport Hotel
The Morning After
Above What's Under
Then Bring It Double (12 & 35)
After the Election
Matthew W. Schmeer
Disturbing the Peace