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Matt Hart

 

SECRET MUSEUM

 

 

And the subplot fizzled like two white bulbs

in a safe house.  You were there,

I thought, or was it a trick of chipmunks?

 

Meddling neighbor?  Compound fracture?

Somebody picking the teeth out of a bite mark?

I said, Everyday in every way, I want to be weirder.

 

When Coleridge attacked the grizzly in the kitchen

it was only a movie—though clearly the fire

was actually in him.  The bear and the midnight,

 

the teeth where I kissed the little children

on the wall.  Two white bulbs

could mean nothing or a tulip.  My dreams

 

are pretty obvious, I told you on a dare,

and yours are the fear of a loneliness

forever, one that’s in your muscles

 

you can never put a brake on…

Back in the picture, you sounded

like an astronaut sleeping through winter,

 

an icicle dropping on the museum’s sternum.

Fire/no fire.  Meddling member.  Kids these days

are drastic/terrific.  Suddenly the clearing

so shiny and druggy. The end breaking off like a finger.

 

 

 

SWEETNESS

 

 

Day after day it’s a revolution, or it’s a wonder

that anything exists at all.  What can I do?

 

Dinosaur glass of giant, red wine.  Brand new

poems in my inbox from Brett.  I read them forthwith

 

to remember his high-horse, then speaketh romantical

the rest of the week.  But before that I turn on the newspaper.

 

Time goes by and clearly awry.  I’m not being funny;

I’m literally speechless.  I futz around or read my head off.

 

A jet flies over the house, and close.  I think at first it’s the return

of the living- dead TV, but it turns out a dumb-bunny licking

 

a head wound—which makes me feel truly sorry, both

because I called him a “dumb bunny” and also because

 

he’s obviously hurt.  I lay down on the couch

with an ice pack.  The birds in my throat for the moment

 

won’t sing.  I’ve been trying for years to get them to argue

in music. For awhile it works pretty well: more life to live

 

and wholly with feeling, then suddenly silence of nothing at all,

the conclusion, as ever, non-sequitur, small.  The point is this:

 

one of Brett’s poems ends, “I want to be sweet,” and man,

more than anything, I want to, too.  I get up off the couch

 

with a fluttering headache, take a couple Vicodin and go

to the mall.  When I get there I’m numbing and lumber

 

through the people.  I dig the dance beats, how

nobody knows me.  At the candy store, I buy a bag

 

of gummy worms and eat the whole thing.  And while

afterward, clearly, I’m still not sweet, I know someone

 

who is.  How’s that for sick?  How close to a sickness?

 



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