River Legs

Jen McClanaghan

This is a prayer wheel and a carnival barker, oddities
pickled in a jar. This is a banjo tuned by reckless angels,
and a museum piece whose placard reads: life.

This is for the maps, for the border with Mexico
and men on fire who fold their clothes in the desert—O sleep,
and for the last dance in the arms of saguaro.

This is for promises met with death.

For a little money to buy a tin roof. For brides
to the south. Mi amor. This line shedding tears for
all the eyes that went dry, for veils trembling in sun.

This is for the animals—those with fur cut
away, the tuskless and mounted, those in hunting
season closing their eyes to the grass.

This is for all the eggs laid in miniscule palaces.

This is for beginnings and for infinity’s
exotic locale in the den of human hearts. Forever?
This is fireworks made from the wand of chalk.

For those who make love and those who steal robes,
for motels holding our stories in their rugs
and uncertain bedding pilled with dreams.

This is for you—a dirge, a carousel tune. This is the ice
and the wooly mammoth in perfect union—
the unequaled arms of a lover deep in the ground.

And to be plain, this for tupperware containers
holding the unclaimed dead—for the labels
a coroner made with a pen—for instance,

River Legs. How can I say they are human parts
washed to shore? How can I go on thinking beautiful and
poetry. And: River Legs meets Lone Heart. Marries.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.