photo by Matt Walker
THE DECIDING ROOM
Dad is outside of the soil
relaxing a new kind of animal.
“One leg might be enough,” Dad says.
“One leg might be confusing,” I say.
“For you, maybe,” Dad says, “but this one seems okay.”
Dad pats the new animal's one and only paw.
Can't even clap, I say.
“Can still arm wrestle,” it says.
It sounds like Dad.
Not with yourself, I say.
“Now that'd be confusing,” Dad says.
Dad can't find a good shoe for it.
“I guess nothing will fit for a while,” Dad says.
“Look at what it's doing!” Dad says.
“The confusion arrives from our bodies,” it says.
For you maybe, I say.
“Confusion is the _______,” it says.
It sounds just like you, I say.
“It sounds like my dad,” Dad says.
“I can still arm wrestle,” it says.
We are together in the deciding room.
I hate this room, I say.
“What room?” the room says.
The room, I say
The room right now.
WILLIAM SETS THE RULES FOR TWELVE ORANGES ON THE TABLE
1.) They are new and alike.
2.) They are together.
3.) They feel transparent.
4.) They do not smile in pictures, but they could.
5.) They could grow into orange trees.
6.) They understand tree bark, sunlight, soil, roots, rain, branches, leaves, occasional birds.
7.) They will only grow other oranges.
8.) They will grow oranges if they are trees even if they are not trees together.
9.) They feel really impossible.
10.) They aren't heavy at all.
11.) They cant learn anything about oranges.
12.) They will take their names to the grave.
Adam Marston was at the poetry work-study at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute this year and is an undergraduate at George Mason University. He has a squid that is a pink kite.