BY Brian D. Morrison
Consider the trees’
shade as curtains,
that light has
your skin become
aware of itself,
soft as loam from so
of so many snappings.
Consider the cut
of opposite bodies
inside a body,
limbs and leaves
in rot and falling.
Consider a sun content
with a hot, flat sky
that doesn’t give a damn
about your sweat,
about what dies, what leaks
to the root. Consider
the darker water,
the space that wants
to eat you. Space
you’ve given a mouth.
Stranger, Because You Flinch
I’ve tied you to a chair because the chair is,
at the moment, at rest.
Watch, settle. We’re together if we’re
meant to be, but the ghosts, Stranger,
are deeper here. The strings that hang them hold
way down. All I’ve needed is peace
from your arms, but your arms have shied. No,
not yet: I cannot allow you
your fussing; our quiver isn’t finished.
Are you warm enough? If fear, then fire—
we know this. And here, all drench
is wasted. Not for us. Here,
there is kindling and matchstick,
sulfur ready to rise. Not one lip of wet
to taste. Listen closely, these ghosts
have eyes. With me now,
relax; all we have is our depth—
the smoke wet in our mouths, yes? I promise:
you struggle, I’ll strike. Shiver, will you,
once? The strings I’ve anchored
will not sever—these ghosts know fire
only by the fuss.
Brian D. Morrison is an Event Coordinator for Slash Pine Press and an Instructor of English at the University of Alabama. His work has recently been published in Margie, Fourteen Hills, and Cider Press Review, among others.