Jamalieh Haley

from Dear Rhinoceros

Dear wife, we have love
many loves
bear a beachfire
tonight, so occluded of itself
the love reaches an obelus
my head
points to heaven
our muskets, at rest, too
my hands in prayer
and so on, etcetera
several sights
are my own ectopic thoughts
even in day
I am out of myself
for nation love
it shakes a little index
in you; in me
the love is like a knife
with which I explore myself

Repeatedly, I mount lions upon lions,
iconic corpse on opium, a simpler
flesh out the petal, pollinated beast,
my own hands I molt into a field,
unfurl my mouth against the rhino,
recant the bedroom, slag-heap the spears
upon you, repeatedly.

Dear wife, I wish I had a way
to show you this world
of the gunshot behind the rose
for all the animals
you turn me into
a sable of alternative green
swan knife
the British way
we swash the grass
or as water does
dash the violent motion
wash a nearby invisibility
hiding here as a village
under assumed colors—we are fables
turned inside-out—
and buckle our extending
ornamental flourish
to the walls

Jamalieh Haley lives in Portland, Oregon, where she co-curates If Not For Kidnap Poetry series. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Sink Review, Folio, Poor Claudia, Sixth Finch, Similarpeaks, among others. She teaches writing, and is a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Art.

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