Adam Day is the author of the collection of poetry, Model of a City in Civil War (Sarabande Books), and the recipient of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship for Badger, Apocrypha, and of a PEN Emerging Writers Award. My work has appeared in the Boston Review, Kenyon Review, APR, AGNI, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. I also direct the Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden, Scotland, and Blackacre Nature Preserve.
Neighbor is lilac white and doesn’t mean
a thing. Life dissuades him with shabby
armchairs, cocked soldiers. Stashed
eyes. First alive fifteen minutes before
his death. Has a bicycle that like his conscience
gives him only a minor pain in the balls,
racks his rectum crossing road bumps, pumping
his legs in escape from the delusional
narcissistic wood fox and the nymphomaniac
nun. Here are his Prussian gray
polyester pants, his cheap mailman’s boots
that march. His ratcheted hand apes a trigger pull.
Past the skeletons of textile factories
boy with a moth’s mind floats in the cold
shallows, dodging leeches while men
do the wash. Breath and body, waves
and sea, everywhere
currents. Cattle on the sand
beneath the wheeze of seagulls. Mother
checks him – lifts his penis
from the drift-white and tightened
scrotum, an elegant example of free thought.
In the scalp of dark hair one little witch
marooned, slick and sucking. Mother
fumbling at it, a concentration-vein
like a taproot in her forehead, crumbs
of light at the crotch, the smack of spades
in the distance. Out the window, cow drops
green dung wet over a bucket of cherries
left by the spigot – in rain it smokes a little.