Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Twenty-eight
Spring 2012
 
Philadelphia
Sara Lier

The Dharma bums are mostly dead,
shit and civet and sea scum, but
the last 3 days I’ve been socializing
with their remains, reading what they talked about
in times like this, lost in a new place.
My hat is older than I am, but
it has never been in love,
and I have been angling

myself like a come-slippery dream
that squirts away with morning, leaves
paperbacks and lost shoes, small and cubic
desires. Each day I stick myself
together like this, pull shut
the door of summer and lock it with a look
back. Today is Philadelphia,
heat like an old hat, a place
that is familiar in the way of sweat,
rides the hidey-holes of my body.

This summer is a new city, intimate and strange, and
it’s a miracle if I find my way.
By the fountain with the mermaids, Amelia
and I sit down. “I want to touch
the water,” she says, and does.
“It isn’t cold like I thought.” I dip
a few fingers, too. It is tepid as drying sweat.

And I don’t know my way back
from this park, out into the rest
of the city, but I will find it, and then
a way out of there. I will wear
gills in my sleep, wake up in streets
I don’t recognize but they open wide, devour me
head-first, silt my hair. I will walk through it
with my eyes closed.

About Sara Lier

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