Joseph Marcure

The Unworn Sweatshirt

A slice of onion curled in the rain

recalled the glowworm:
eleven years of that thing called a crush,

attendant driftings, netherworlds quite charted

by now, outbursts before, and after, epiphanic walks
interrupted by rain, as though drops of punctuation, carefully

crafted chocolate arriving somewhere, in a lunar month,

with no intention.

Unlike the mood swings

which may have stood out most
to others, it's important to consider how

each is perceived. The crush, a state and a direction,

an endless jaw pain being caused by

and addendum to. All poorly folded
as a sweatshirt in a makeshift closet drawer.

Followed by laughter in a rain forest, a space where
a memory could be. The first steps a child takes

after fumbling over. Machine cut pieces of wood,
bite sized from our vantage, carefully placed together
out of phase, striking up a miniature dwelling.

Slice of onion laying bare on concrete, crisp
and conjuring the glowworm, its misguided floating
in eleven years of that diseased mobility,
no longer sessile, called a crush.

Eleven years of beautiful sex that slept in,
making breakfast whenever it pleased, until carelessly
it, too, came to seem a translucent piece of puffy onion – or was it lithe,

moist and nonetheless versatile in fast breaking forms?

Who can tell? When it's good it's great, like lemons
removed from their thorny apartments and happier than happy.

A collapse was only a part of the longitudinal process.

An expanse followed along in a rare wave, a push-pull, or just a parallel
sexual frustration to the screaming for release converging

on an imaginary window in a bedroom door.

Seven fish in a bowl swimming at once side by side
or dressing nicely – caring about how one looks again, at long last.
Each heterotrophic guppy nipping at the water before them
as do so many moments of trust. But, returning to the sartorial
folding, I cannot deny it is too late. Taking out your sweatshirt
to find it can only be folded poorly, the majestic plural,
on pedestrian footing, being all that is left.

Joseph Marcure lives in Fresno, California. This is his first published poem. Previously he had a short story in Dennis Cooper's Userlands anthology. He occasionally blogs at (where you can also jump to his past writings on DC's) and releases music via Japanese Alice. Even less occasionally he contributes to Transductions. Presently he is working on more poems and (very slowly) a novel.

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