Alex Lemon is the author of Happy: A Memoir (Scribner), and the poetry collections Mosquito (Tin House Books), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions), and Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions). His poem, “Life Coach,” can be found in Volume 1, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.
By Alex Lemon
O moral courage, O Barry
White-sized doses of human
Growth hormone. Gird your
Loins, grasshopper: Blood
Clots are branching up to
The heart of each person you
Love. In the preternatural light
Before the sun rises, every home
On your block, foggy with dream
Fumes, has, for one imperfect second
Of lightning zaps & rodent
Bites, a 50-50 chance of becoming
A mound of smoking dirt.
Your child’s EZ-bake oven
Has been recalled. Do not
Weep. You must be strong.
A mother is leaving her two
Kids in the car. Listen up.
Feel it. Already, the temperature
Is a dozen above 100.
Megan Hudgins’s work has been published in The River Bluff Review, Anti-, and Toad: The Journal. More of her work can be found in Volume 3, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.
BUT THE WORLD’S FIRST BIOLUMINESENT RABBIT HASN’T LEFT THE LAB
By Megan Hudgins
It must be hard
to always wake
to the same kind
of morning. The one
that seems to say
there’s never been
a sun to save.
The one that strokes
you with shadows
and taunts you
Me beijar, minha filha.
the poppy field dreams;
is a broken promise
with the trappings
of rabbitdom. A fresh
mineral lick morning
is never enough
to forget you’re
forgotten and unfree.
Martin Balgach’s chapbook, Too Much Breath, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. More of his work can be found at http://www.martinbalgach.com.
WHAT HOLDS US
By Martin Balgach
This morning I listened to the first birds of spring.
Even those birds bear the weight of time on their shoulders.
I have come from the ends of the universe to tell you this. Right now
I am so present that my breaths feel like knives
and these recollections are as loud
as a stranger’s footsteps on a quiet street.
Yesterday I recited the names of every dead person I know
because each day their names are spoken less. Everyone gets forgotten.
We each forget something about ourselves,
every day. It doesn’t matter. In the afternoon,
even on cold afternoons, birds sing their truths like birds
and I long to be as original as a first kiss.
I don’t know why I am trying to tell your heart
to hear its own tick. Tomorrow is going to come like lightening.
I’ll be breathing down some stranger’s neck,
pacing old footsteps over the same sidewalk I walked yesterday,
wondering what to eat for supper.
Such tired tunes make all of us go round
like ponies at the fair. Nobody deserves anything
but we want so much. Only nothing holds us forever.
Ricky Garni is a graphic designer and cyclist living in Carrboro, North Carolina. His latest work, Butterscotch, was released in 2012.
THE MYTH OF GEOGRAPHY
By Ricky Garni
I know that if you go to the left side of the United States and look down,
there are sea otters.
If you go to the right side of the United States, and look out, there is water
as far as you can see.
If you look farther, you see castles. If you look farther than that, you see smoke.
If you look farther than that, your eyes fall down, and you see galaxies.
Galaxies which look like the Fourth of July but really, really big. Humongous.
If you stand still.
Your Mother says: come inside. Be careful. Eat everything. Look at me
when I talk to you.