Today's poem is by Corey Van Landingham

This World is Only Going to Break Your Heart

            Space has been shut off for summer, etc.
In the last shuttle launched,
            I am told to love a piece of earth. Then metal.
                                    Then the optics behind the things I hold
                                                                        in my hand.
I am told: be simple. Only love
                        what you can bear to break in half.

                        Evenings I spar with a giant insect
that while I fall asleep wants to comb my hair.
                                    Into the ear on the floor it croons,

            You are the most delicious industrial revolution.

Paintings I have pilfered adhere to the ceiling,
                        so that when I feel like walking
            I walk under ponds with lily pads like drowned hats,
all the eyes I can't see hidden above them now, about to burst.

                                                I don't often feel like walking,
                        having heard the announcement
            that I am stuck out here with Decisions To Make.
                                    What graffiti will be unbirthed.

Which hills will turn white with bones. Pathogens.

                                                When I flinch
            into an unimpressive sleep, I will dislodge some
                        unimpressive planet with a terrain that shakes
under a red sky like a syphilitic man. A man
                        with the feet of a goat. I try not to sleep.

                                                There is day,
                                                            then there is later day.

                                    When an equation prints out
            onto my tongue, I do my best to solve it.
                                                Sure, there are things that I miss.

The idea of brothers. Distinguished dogs with cauldrons
                                    of summer saliva.

                                                            Once, I even felt holy.
                                    It was at the throes of an orange tree.
I could have been stoned to death and still would have sung out
                                                Tongue! Barren tongue!

            There were ghosts up here. But they were shut off
long ago, when I tried to put my arms around them
                                    and was told I'd have to choose between
                        the slaughterhouse and the morgue.

            I retaliated with apathy. I cut off my ears.

Copyright © 2012 Corey Van Landingham All rights reserved
from Colorado Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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