Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Thirty-five
Summer 2014
 
The House by Harmony Wharf
M.K. Brake

We diagnosed kind
inebriation
at the house by harmony wharf—

flummoxed, spotted
with import

we go forth into
night

unafraid
teeth wrapped in skin
alligators

but still vulnerable to
lips removed
and sunk to ferment

in our communal mirth and dank.

Pine will o’ wisps,
our best intentions

light the treetops or just

cranes are monoliths

hunkering on the Mississippi
to gnash against the

dream of ether

the unkempt yard on which
labyrinthine fire

burbles heat, burbles tomorrow

when all we wanted out of the cumulous
pink indigo

autonomy not
emblazoned gold,

still left
aching for dawn

that melted angles into our teeth and
shone.

Where the little orange lizards
tighten

against the cracks as we have been taught

patience, taught

rudiments
not just hear but—listen—
brass in the pines or

the trains and the ships and the gulls and the mud:
the kingdom by harmony wharf.

Reluctantly crowned
at the edge of the neon city
you tell me
Evergreen holds the shame of our skulls

but I told you an imperfect
fractal of arms

and craning
you splintered the sky of ice
into a fractal of my arms.

Brightly wounded, sowing my own lung
colloquial

you evaded my mask and wiped the soot
at

corners groaning with age
and drunkenness

told you
of the minnows, and how
I healed wrong.

Closetless, with glue and
determination
we after

the crooked lamp
the peeling mint paint
the endless orange lizards.

We are living wildly
in the crooked angleless

that winds like
exoskeleton
round river
snakelover

where the will o’ wisps
slunk in night to plant a fairie garden
in your side strip gravel.

There the angel trumpets
fall

to say how the pupils dilate,
say, We
say,

Grow unencumbered and
defiant

into wild resurrection
ferns.

About M.K. Brake

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