POETRY by Gregory Lawless
Seams, sawn wood, awakening grain. Curtains grieving across expositions of frost.
A glass-built dream. Grass shoots, ice-crippled, hobbled with rime.
Birdlime beneath the eaves. Prewinter fear. Some teapot-shrill bird in the broken oak.
The kind of cold that —
Teapot unhanding its steam.
On the sill, sunlight bleaches dead beetles the color of wheat.
* * *
Night noises creaking east.
The firs slagged with first snow. Footsteps like hills whispering. Men disappearing into their breath.
Deer appear now in the dream about deer. The slow gondolier strokes of their steps. They eat the last scratches of grass between patches of ice.
Brick-heavy heartbeats. Heart-teeth grinding down to nerve. Trees swerve into snow.
Men follow their breath toward winter and disappear into their dream of deer.
* * *
Panes with crescent slices. Front door pocked with shot. The doorknob hot from sun, as though from fire within. I stop and knock a sick bat from the eaves with a wing of pipe. His flight, erratic, daft, like a card flicked into wind. So my own flight herein. Knock, knock. The wind. Rats. Scat on the torn corners of the couch. The teaspoon on the table, face up, holds a teaspoon of rain. I stare through roofrot at the sky, God’s eye, and stuff a tunnel of newspaper inside to blind it dry.
Gregory Lawless (MAPH ’04) is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Pleiades, The National Poetry Review, The Journal, Zoland Poetry, Sonora Review, Third Coast, Sixth Finch,Best of the Net, and many others. He is the author of Foreclosure and I Thought I Was New Here.