Michael Naghten Shanks

Three poems

I Have To Confess That Only Sometimes Am I With You

after Michael Earl Craig

It occurs to me I am like a houseplant. I turn a little in my chair
to look out a different window. A rabbit has stepped out from
behind a shrub; the rabbit presents himself to me. They say poetry

is dead. Or that when a hand reaches into the frame we get the sense
of someone in the act as if on a video monitor. “It is a terrifying time
to be a cigar,” I say. “Shut up and fuck me,” she says. She keeps

a friendly look on her face. Her mouth as she spoke, so large and
pink and promiscuous. I have just very carefully cut the heartless bitch.
She is a flash of light on the water. We have definitely seen something.

It gives this poem its poise and a marketable feeling comes over us,
like limes its weight is satisfying. I’m not even saying this is a poem.
When I come upon you I grope you where the camera moves

in close into and through every bedroom. In the next room I stood
very close to a mirror — you are some kind of pathetic impostor.


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