Christie Ann Reynolds
Okkervil River is a place in a book
In the name of golden opportunities
we create the new pornography
and sell our poems. Some song of whippoorwill.
Some song of shit-there-goes-the-tow-truck
with your car. Sometimes the wind
makes a cock on a barn go zoom and sometimes
the wind impresses us with its anger—who killed
a furnace today? Who let salt depart over the shoulder
for dumb superstition and who smashed
that one lightbulb in the theater with rocks?
So we continue. In our cat-guts. In our braids.
I suspend curtains with pipe-cleaners
until my carnival explodes into what it really
is—thousands of termites and mounds of people
with cotton candy mouths. Termites
with pincer-faces and the power
those insects have--o the power
to collapse a deck into the grass
and keep going.
Surrendering to seasoning to birds
Here we were hung like white shirts
on posts. The guttural chug of water
sputtering from trough to throat. Gunny
sacks & guns. The invisible beads
of anxious love capsizing, tormenting,
spreading tourmaline tents
over our limbs and flapping
down our throats until we stopped listening
for the boy and girl in the room next door.
Until we knew this park, this terrace, this congregation
of fowl and summertime fat was just a hoax.
Here we were hung like whistling flags,
celebrating our forfeiture. And there
along the path goes a child with a wagon.
It is red. It is familiar.