I lift my heart from its brown
clock & shake
long enough to catch the sad loose
switch in it.
Slow thing I say tender. I'll miss
tapping in the fine broke
My heart would mark in bird
sound. A silver thrum now hushed.Hush-
Hush-this keeping unless you stir
my heart O Lord
today. Unless you lift me up & tap
just where. Two taps
through to the metal-
manked with tongue
you will enter on your knees
you will mutter due obeisance
in old sleep
and name with wax
where even I came
even I, dead
when the heart raised
itself in war
I had my head
in brown blood, then
I spit my name
and smelled the spit
the stubs of juniper
my skin became
when you enter, do you fix
a scrawl of weed
to your dry mange
when you come, do you this
in sleep and old blood
to honor my arms
and my arms is
to slang my ribs
in torrents of tree
You made a telephone of jackfruit.
I left you.
Madame, forgiveness begins at the
Knock and flutter as you might.
You have a chance.
Enclosed please find a clockwork rib.
Don't drop anything in here.
Those gears are right up against the case.
It's tight in here. Very tight.
Suppose coins or part of a switch fell in.
I could look.
Vincent pulls a grocery cart from the metal return.
Points it downhill towards home.
Excellent new cart.
He pushes to the store.
Fills up. Then pushes all the way back
Across two major intersections.
Past the peeling Coach Light restaurant.
Twice a week now.
He does this twice
In a common sword wound, a single atom may traverse up to
four inches of empty space before falling on a time of opera
and fighting sails. Calculus promises that horizontal motion
nothing more than a letter of mark sanctified by swing. For what
the atom finds is also broken, and that rightly-
It got down to this.
You always sent one of the girls with me.
But I'd never leave without them both.
You knew that.
You used it.
Madame, maybe you were a person without skin.
If I could hold you again I would look harder.
Maybe even-look more.
You ask about my job.
My job is lifting.
Hot pennies pressed to winter windows.
I lift up. And then I wheel up.
-That is my job-
-That job is real-
Kiki Petrosino is a recent graduate of the Iowa
Writers Workshop. Her first collection of poems is forthcoming
from Sarabande Books in 2009. Her poems have appeared in Best New
Poets, Forklift Ohio, POOL, Unpleasant Event Schedule, and elsewhere.
Her awards include a post-graduate fellowship from the University of
Iowa and a waitership from the Bread Loaf Writers
Conference. She lives in Iowa City.