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David Sewell

Squirrels for Peace

I haven’t been wearing lavender shoes

long enough to know how to make

love fall from the air like an injured sparrow

I can reach only so far into the cereal box

and anyway hair has no discernible taste

today I’m merely differently sane today

I’m not sure how tall I am but do know

I require exactly two and one-third pillows

to go unnoticed in the snowstorm last

night syntax was fun but not as a party game

leaving through the window after the pause

just seemed like the right thing to do

all around the morning the air smelled

like ice cream which is why I was screaming.



Do You Hear a Harp?

In truth I was making up about the sweater vest

it wasn’t sewn of fireflies it wasn’t on fire even

I on the other hand have never been one

to return from the cloakroom with enough

contraband to pay for the window that broke

when I threw the grapefruit through it in truth

I didn’t actually move my lips in my mouth

the comparison to a salmon was inaccurate

I have a new avocado I am tired of all the dying

the wearing scarves the unnamed goats loitering

about in place of the furniture therefore I’ve

lain on you throughout a night made wholesome

by the window being open and talking

about soup it’s not easy to make so little sense

so near the mirror the eyes in it seem to follow

me wherever I move whether or not

I’m wearing a top hat it’s weird I admit but

I’m merely a belly-itcher who looks good

in velvet I am not qualified to answer

to only one syllable or to found a religion

with my hair I am here because you are dear.


Who Will Carry My Strawberry?

I’m only trying to situate the weather

nearer the weather vane. In order

of similarity to the monsoon:

a steady girl, a steady hand, a steady life.

I’m believing in you so you don’t have to.

I’m learning to play the double-crested cormorant

because the ocean’s been looking desperate

and moony these passing afternoons.

Armed with a finely appointed mustache,

I’ll enter the gentlemen’s club,

unshelf a book from the reading room,

calmly ingest its table of contents.

Then I’ll be worthy of the crown

of pamplemouse, the cereal bowl

of being upside down. But there I was,

alone in the bathroom stall, with only

my problems and an indelible photo.

I’m like this, I’ve said, attempting to kick

the sparrow that is never successfully kicked.

I’m like that, I’ve said, pointing to

the woman on the subway carrying

a strawberry on a small plate.

I’ve connected the dots on giraffes

maculate and not, yet parts of me insist

on posing the rain impossible questions.

So much I’ve wanted to be the one

in the top hat, instead of the one eating

the refrigerator box. But, oh! And, oh!

My head’s become stuck in a platypus’ burrow.

The platypus is waking up.

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