Two Poems

Two Poems

Two Poems 1280 960 Rachel Brooks


Mother says the garden hedges unfurl into shapes
like jaws. Her hands cupboard trimmers, tremble
in the salted air. We pillage this road backwards,
throat bramble into Atlantic, dusk rubble into clawless
dreams. Look. The beach huddles in the monsoon
of every bathtub, hustles into soot-rattled fogs. Too many
fish untethered. In the tidal pools, I read newsprint
clippings, puncture the faulty ink. Winged. Like birds
in buckets of debris. Headings unlettered. Illiterate,
I stitch whale lauds on my sweater. Grab the lopper,
strangle the ignition. Mammal turns mouth topples lyric.
Quick, let’s whittle the teeth of every terror, toss
the branches in a bag of wind.

Sundays husk into water’s holy, murk into Monday hull.



The display cases in this museum are too small
for my marrow or the visitors’ traffic, sticky
as the carcass of a bumblebee’s ire. Ossifications
golden in the lantern light: anatomy
of a virgin’s ribcage, a quail’s limbs, the beak
of the beluga—what honest caverns.
How even the dinosaurs have sinew. Tonight,
dusk balances her arch, skips over hieroglyphics,
sentences dirty with deluge. Tonight, I lean in,
drape my elbows on stone goddesses and wedge
my teeth in ancestors’ masks. Beg to become more
than patella or pale artifact. Listen, these halls mumble
quiet as a sepulcher, mastaba, vault. What if I said
I want to turn diluvian, rendezvous with beaked skull
and rifle the world with rostrum on my head. Nights
like this, I breach the surface of the city while she sleeps,
tail slapping syllables mid-air. Listen, sculptures warble
whale song like some diagnosis. Impermanent and barren,
I turn this museum on her head, crawl backwards
into humpback belly. Unwind for all that I lack.

Header photograph © Lexy.

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