Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Twenty-six
Summer 2011
Vincent Spina


The message on the screen is for you.
My hope is that you take
it over, plan something in the margin
or in the interim to make
it yours. Look.

The many texts you have sent
stand silent, gliphed black to rock
walls painted in reds and yellows.
Judas trees bleed where once
an alga ocean slept
and the braying of a desert burro content
to graze on what the landscape wills her.


Here mementoes twist about your knees
like the vines of a strangler fig
around the limbs of its victim tree.
Blue green algae drape the sofa. Moss
steals from the basement into your bones.
Then, the itinerant pang of sorrow

rolls back the forest lianas as an echo
emerges from the cleansed desert stones
—whose or for what the message doesn’t say;
it is only a dream, these are only poems.


A recent crisis has arisen in the sandwich
you have swallowed for lunch. It sticks somewhere
in the blueprint you are unrolling.

A poem in winter hangs like a cylinder
from a tree. From a basement window
I see you grey through bands of drifting snow,
glossing the white screen,
reading me into the line.

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