Two Poems

by Trina Burke

Trina Burke is the author of The Best Divorce (Alice Blue Books), Wreck Idyll (Dancing Girl Press), and Great America (Dancing Girl Press. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in TYPOJukedHorse Less Review, and Beechers.

Vacation Plans

Coffee or water I am dried by fire smoked meat fat
gelatinous something on my plate
get it off get it off in the morning. If I close my eyes
I might never paint and display myself.
A natal body looks like tucked ask. It’s Monday. Eyes
runny from wild fires’ hazy end of summer—
us wheezing for rain. It’s not coming. We dress
in beige and slate
and shave our heads because apocalypse.
No horse this race. Canoe
thru lily pads no frogs or otherwise
full of bees and they will sting. We sent them out
through the windows. No more bees in the bathroom. Why
the extermination. In any case a hidden orchard that I did not find
with apples, cherries, pears and, beyond it, plums in season.
Homestead roads made trails and man-made lake
for generations to enjoy. Digging holes with a burn ban
made fire and sat with guitars, cars circled abortive attempts. Rough
minutes spent scrubbing meat in a slightly sylvan setting.
Wolf pack challenges at happy hour. Sweet, sweet sleep.
When it is work to breathe you know you’re in trouble. Not
so interesting as the Middle Ages nor will it last for hundreds of years.
A blessing with limbs heavy like a sodden tree’s. As if
a yawn cracks the skull. Lacrimose yearnings. On the drive back, a dead
yearling despite slow traffic. I can’t and I won’t. How I might eat
patience, sing a doo-wop song about it. OK, I’m all about that money.
It’s sitting on my stomach like an anvil taking a train to Vancouver.
Sighs I could drink more than doubt would help. When you need
a vacation. When you’ve lost a key bungee cord.
When you’ve found a bark flake that looks like a moth wing or vice versa.
Put behind glass so no one can perform the proper identification. I am not
an impartial scientist.
Excruciating but fine faith does process letters on the screen. Just scratch
until the whole screen is black, shake, and start a science fair project.
Build a mandolin or wash tub bass and study. Power a whole city with
the rage of being interrupted. What is passing
for a parachute of play under colour past the face and up above the head
and back down.
What it’s like to be pre-born on the playground. Orange
is the colour of origin. Not flattering, but warm enough. Explaining a
volcano to a child
—it’s all waking and being cranky or dormant.
Every song begins with “I don’t know … ” a pit with time and, no,
dysplasia?
It feels like some odd industrial district with cats to catch vermin. And
dogs to guard it.
Quadrupedal security ops and spontaneous fermentation.
Hyperbaric chamber for a girl to call home.
Or having fun out in the world watching backhoes and conveyor trucks
and jackhammers.
Hands over the ears holding the pulse in. Parental duress passed
to offspring through genes dry humping. Get pregnant that way. A door cracked
off its hinges. Play a harmonica and pound piano keys—inhibitions
are pulled yarn in the rug sunset. Red orange yellow black sun silhouette.
When are we going to get there we’ll never ever get there.
So much is just endurance.

 

Confession

Half a ghost, ghosting about. Hair
spinning coiling re-
member of dead family. Floral
arrangements very cut—Cut
all my hair off and save it for art.
Edit incorrect usage to introduce error.
Goddamned sense. Drunk possible
toddler. Fulfilling even jazz blast right on a work night.
Sleep weekend because hate plans. Because
actual time is a particular kind of music. I’m trying
indiscriminately. Pressurized canister of air comes
out freezing. Liberal use is recommended.
My body feels quaky. Hyper-focused
on noticing split ends. Afterimage of a lightning strike that might just be
or a car turns quickly onto another street at night, the headlights. Summer
spent camping with God be done. Done
this day crave whole
milk a long walk on the heath. Stare
blank at indifferent vistas. Avoid a world where people.
I’m passing for a normal. External signifiers common to an outlier.
Assaults happen in bathrooms who take pride in being common?
My son belies plate tectonics. Perhaps.
It’s a significant luxury. Don’t underestimate mitigation,
minimize a neutral self-esteem with personal growth rubrics.
Erect a mixed-use development land use action. You are
an orangerie in me. Anemic together
flat string matrix conundrum. Holographic communication
was only ever entertainment
in cahoots. Spectacular tripping kindergarteners
sing arias, think calculus. If only
breasts be genius, God damn it. Rot your body, or your body
rotting. A luxury of occasional incompetence.
Not one prodigy, famous person, minion, peasant, farmer, teacher.
Small picture singing landscape out
of context—trees and a body of water so blurry
scenery. It’s Wednesday. Jesus God addicted
to willpower to exercise. The old marshmallow
test. Acceptance being sometimes a scandal.
The sexiest thing I do is conjugate. Stoppage time
injured fixations type and type and barely blacken the page.
What if I had to speak the words to get them there?
Lips are concrete hurdles. Concrete.
Enjoy it like to listen to cardboard boxes pretending
they’re boats and the ground is
recalcitrant water. I swim upright like I’m walking, but wear a real

life jacket. Verisimilitude is necessary to compensate for a reality that is lacking.
The past tense of a magic so ghost, but dead meat.
Going to the river to eat a staghorn fern older than grandpa. Stolen.

 


Trina Burke is the author of The Best Divorce (Alice Blue Books), Wreck Idyll (Dancing Girl Press), and Great America (Dancing Girl Press. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in TYPOJukedHorse Less Review, and Beechers.

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