a path through bodies (ismaelson) wrote in poetryislove,
a path through bodies

The Invited by Lucy Ives

The Invited

by Lucy Ives



she plays the aluminum side


of the refrigerator with one of their drumsticks


the boy with a mohawk says her name


a recollection of his one pair of sneakers

          logos bouncing like dimes where he

jacks his knees crossing the street


and took his small muscles off


saying, as they exchanged places on the

greenwood porch, starrily


consumed by beer

“this is something you can never



singing to himself, placing James Dean

over his face


bearing the girl he loves off through

    the heat to the cinder block where

    they are teaching themselves to speak



daylight; the dented red car like a skull


I’ll remember the refuse in here forever,

    soda bottles the color of flowers, souvenirs,

    clothing, the gold egyptian head


D. dresses in a pink shirt the color of



running once through the airport to no purpose


her speaking to me as she drives, saying

    “he said”



and in the kitchen with his own shirt

    around his head he says

    “stay out of my kitchen”


           making a meatless soup

           of yellow fruit one afternoon


I praise him afterward for this, and

       how well he plays pool



   in their wind-up bedroom

walls of navy, windows which shake with

every footfall, the filmmaker lights

   up a cigarette, and comparing his

   eyebrows to each other in secret


   begins smoothing his video

   making sounds and

the mouths move, in sync




his bed which he claims a ghost

shakes nightly


precious his head


when will he remember? I ask myself


as in its dark bluejeans, the specter

      makes itself a sandwich behind my

      back whenever I sleep



the greenwood porch taken up entire by nesting lions


he came to the door the hungry kind


breathing so I heard, heart of some smaller animal


points of four teeth salted round the heart


he waited on all-fours


pathetic at the perfect center of the door


     working with a new sadness, their

     doorframes, their

     many-colored home


     taut skin along the ribs and the red

     insides of his hands


     there, I say, must be where

     you keep your blood


     he says everyone says that



there was a lot of pale boys going on

about being uneducated that night


one of them, you know, the one with the



that’s right

he shaved


his head on the sides

so you thought


of a spine, whenever

he leaned


over annoyed, or

took himself into


the next room to speak for

that particular smallness


one feels certain those

flat sneakers stand for


the what?

he cries out if I appear



there are vipers in green suits somewhere in

the early morning this morning


an owl hisses its way toward the center of town


who knows what anyone told me before

I didn’t believe them

outright then


so you thought yourself a believer


they were old-fashioned

they lived kind of like punks


still the serious song won’t go

it’s the only chance I’ve got


scent of the face coming off in the hands


and up above them lies another land

             each and every time


                    I cannot live it

again they say, looking up

[from The Bedazzler (Winter 2007)]
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