ninety-nine. startle. padded, padding. cursive. gate. corolla, cluster.
inward turn. the pines, tall and away. bats. full. holes. waist, waisted.
key, keyring. a crown. paper. wet wrist. wet wrist. flake. gravel.
strain (blush diamond). curve of glass. web. purple. salt spray.
dried grass, cut feet. marsh. beach. charcoal. a clean wind.
low heat. close grass. fountain. bloody. musty. sheer, tasteless.
marble. folk, or not. musk. plastic. architecture. shell. braided.
bending. dotted. the hair of something. gold. moss. arms crossed.
palms up. cuts. bent wood. poor. weaving, woven. strings.
veins, pierced or not. diving bell. depths. they are not the
depths when you are there. it is still just floor and ceiling
and around and around. ponies: Honey and Satan. Mom’s ponies.
a backyard with electric wire. little ponies—she would sleep
in their stable. every point. emerald. whistle. stomach.
oaky. sod. inverted language. a string that won’t break.
a time that is still there. in your ribcage. ribcage. nestless.
pretty daughter. vegetative. wood grain. cake. pink cake.
pearls and pearls. the world is at one moment well-made
and the next it is a horrible chewing mouth. dustless. wet.
beating, hearts/wings, etc. suds. pond-soft edges of a pond.
mud smell. your moon and my moon. a desert. a lake.
is a desert. a forest is always black. except when it burns.
and crackles like laughs. a buzz. a ring, a ringing.
knots of hair. kilter. a scraping. metal on metal. tops of trees.
your body eats itself. this is school. this is the black line.
the wire, the knife point, the barb, the edge, the cut something.
little lungs. these are the units. this is an exchange, always.
pony in a stable, a pillow. preserved in a jar. excellent, limited.
forged in a hot fire. how. the field. the edge of town. horseshoes.
Celia was the blacksmith. a green vessel. an airplane. a mark.
the voice of this was glittering. is this enough. let me.
the mouse. the dregs. what o’clock. stolen—oh the criminal.
I don’t want to get carried away. a house next to the little
fire is enough. I’d rather a period of time. a bustling.
Intermission and velvet mouth sounds.
Burning in place. A strong egg splitting.
A phone might call or a door might knock
and the heft in me slumps up, this minute
opens and tigers upon tigers talk and roll
in the hall, their clear pond, my black bed,
a torso in tigers. Filthy eyes following.
Hurt eyes behind. The key’s teeth poke in
and feel perfect this minute. Yellow and red
film of balloons, no knots. A nice trespass.
Molly Brodak is the author of A Little Middle of the Night (University of Iowa Press, 2010) and three chapbooks of poetry. She teaches at Emory University and edits the journal Aesthetix.