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

The Invited by Lucy Ives

The Invited

by Lucy Ives


1

 

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

understand”

 

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



2

 

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

red

 

running once through the airport to no purpose

 

her speaking to me as she drives, saying

    “he said”



3

 

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



4

 

   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

 

precious

 

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



5

 

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



6

 

there was a lot of pale boys going on

about being uneducated that night

 

one of them, you know, the one with the

nipples?

 

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



7

 

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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