Vessel, Labor Day Gun Show and Flea Market, Hillsville, VA
2 by Andrei Codrescu
dancers strapped to canoes is
what the morning brings. they are tied
to a perpetual dance.
hooded folks in lighthouses
count on their fingers as the day
gets brighter, everywhere
dancing is either law
or crime. i have no particular
taste for this world. i am looking
for an utterly still completely
I hate photographs,
those square paper Judases of the world,
the fakers of love’s image of all things.
They show you parents where the frogs of doom
are standing under the heavenly flour,
they picture grassy slopes
where the bugs of accident whirr twisted
in the flaws of the world.
It is weird,
this violence of particulars
against the unity of being.
Japanese Girl with Red Table
The Japanese girl thinks she will die today.
In her mirror, she sees she is already dying
and she tries to compose her face into how
it will appear in death: forgiving, forgetful.
Between her white breasts, she already sees
the red mark of the knife—red as the red table
on the floor behind her, red as the red border
of the purple robe falling open around her
as she kneels before the mirror. Yes, she thinks,
she will destroy herself today; and her lover,
who has not come, will hear of it from people
crying to each other as he passes on the street
with his destination a solid object in his mind,
as real as the red table or the black and white
vase upon the table. He will hear that a girl
has been found with a knife in her breast,
but he won’t believe it’s she as he continues
toward the red table in his mind. Then at last
some friend will bring him the news, tell him
while he sits with his wife in the early evening,
eating sweets and drinking tea as he describes
the small business of his day. He will be holding
a porcelain cup with a picture of a single gull,
and he will listen to how a girl has been found
lying naked in her own blood on the golden rug
he gave her, while within him the words will be
eating his body as fire eats paper, as he tries
hopelessly to hold his cup steady and make no face.