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August Smith

04 Jul August Smith

VARIATIONS ON A PHYSICAL PAIN

 

1.

I pull my shirt over a disobedient thing.
There are people worse off in this world,
yes I know, but in my bathroom I stand alone
as the vortex of my pities.

I still have to put on my pants.

 

2.

Think of those cut-away diagrams
of the human body
on pamphlets and posters about disease,
lying flat and unsmiling
clean and well-lit and plainly labeled,
no hint of that gore
we have crammed inside.

 

3.

Oh! hello! and good morning, Pain.
Already here to ruin my Sunday?
We can at least work together.
I’ll fire up that smoky engine of self-hatred,
pull up WebMD on my phone,
and you just go right ahead
and burrow.

 

4.

I got these dark moons under my wool cloak.
I’m going to travel somewhere far away
and pay a masked man to cut them out
beneath the secrecy of marble doors
and aggressively yellow waiting rooms.

I stop at Walmart to buy some fruit,
wonder how many others bear these dark moons.

 

POEM AGAINST LIFE IN SUMMER

 

The sun, my most powerful foe!
Women in splendid dresses
walking along the promenade,

her most powerful soldiers!
Huge muskets and broadswords
thick as wrists seem really cool

until you try to pick one up.
I will settle for mocking her dazzling voice
from my cradle of SPF and shade.

Me and my people, we are mostly
snow and ocean and rainfall beings.
We came here in ethereal, lacy orbs.

Now, all of my friends have pockets full
of heavy rocks. Our watches
are perfectly synchronized.

Here’s the plan:
at the exact same moment,
we will turn towards the late day
half-melting star with eyes full
of ancient rage and deranged smoke.
We will shed our burdens in a hail of earth flock.
We will bury her beneath the new mountain.
We will enjoy ten dollar smoothies
in the new, blue shade.

 


 

August Smith lives in Somerville, runs Cool Skull Press, attends UMass Boston, and still plays Team Fortress 2 occasionally. You can read more of his work at http://august.mostlymidwest.com.

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