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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