Two Poems by Matthew Dickman

Willow Springs 68

Found in Willow Springs 68

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I'm hiding from the stars tonight. I've pulled

every blind and turned off

all the lights but one, which I've named after you,

which I can see flooding the dark

hallway of my high school when I open the locker

with your name on it, the only one

left, the universe flashing out

onto the floor. I thought maybe I would find

a note from you

and that's why I dreamt about it. In all the pictures

I've seen of my older brother

he is never wearing a tuxedo. But I have one, bent at the edges,

of me and my twin on a boat, on prom night, happy,

already a little drunk. I carry this picture wherever I fly

so I can look at it right before the crash, below the screams

and the smell of urine, I can look into his eyes

and know who I am. All night I've been worrying

about money and cancer and the tooth

I have to get pulled out before it poisons me. I can smell

the lemon I cut earlier for the carrots and fish. I don't know

what to do with myself. I've written the word Freedom

on a piece of paper and taped it to a knife. Then I peeled it off

and taped it to a book of Myakovsky

poems. Finally I took it and stuck it on the screen

of my computer where there is a picture of Erika wearing the silver

necklace I bought her. Outside a dog is sitting in the yard

looking up a the porch. Every once in a while

it wags its tail and whines, then it's quiet, and then it begins to growl.




You are the illuminated world, floating ballroom, spark and flash,

cold December star above the hospital,

moonlit pond, little boat, your waters calm

as a spoon. I've never been higher.

I can feel you melt on my tongue like a naked girl wearing a diamond

crown, standing barefoot on a bed

of ice, her eyes turning white, her body a cloud broken by lightning,

glowing like a nurse in a dark hall. You turn

all my emergencies into cotton, all my fainting into land, my blue boy

at the bottom of a paper cup, you make the meadow

bright, make me brave. Now I can walk

through the land of strangers and freeways, surgery and rubber gloves,

the panic, the knife, the ambulance of dawn,

the gurney being lifted into the air. When I'm made you lie down

on the metal bed, when the first tube is threaded into me, I want you

my cherry blossom season, my dream of gauze and light, your petals swirling

around my feet, IVs and Jell-O, Tu Fu singing at the edge of the Yangtze forever.

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