and harsh orange lights flashed over shut eyelids
deep sickly orange as if the sky caught fire
and infected all transmission towers
In the back seat of the car
I sit, peering through windows,
cutting movies out of traffic.
I don’t want to die, I promise,
I want to try a brand new side-view,
red-tint altar, wilted poppy in my gin.
Car windows feel like bugs in a secret
huddle, proudly defying the outside world
in the outside world. I revise the texture
of the road, allowing it to sharpen, to blur,
furnishing crack after crack with genesis
and subterranean mutiny. Single mothers
own the freeway, gods of the nuclear era.
I want to try a brand new rear-view,
my own private funeral for left behinds.
One thing I always loved
about the back seat—
in the back seat I get
to precipitate the world
an extra second
before it kills
any chance of creation.
1 Tablespoon Salt, 8 Ounces Water
I’ve learned every single thing I know, but what do I know?
I know I had a tooth pulled out two days ago, amoxicillin swilled
thrashing through my bloodstream hexagonally.
Had I been a Spanish millwright this poem would look a lot different.
Had I been raised in Denenchofu my teeth would look a lot different.
But what do I know about different? If [ ] is different than [ ] does different
not imply several, and does several not imply interaction,
and does interaction not imply movement? If we were all the same
might we not be a pecan cluster sitting static in a bowl of yogourt?
Should the cluster be extracted from the yogourt? In a bubble
we’ve been taught to pick stuff out. Stuff we like and stuff we don’t like.
Extract extract. Am I bound to become my father? Extract.
The extraction site in my mouth begins to ache, so I feed
my liver ibuprofen capsules. I’ve learned it’s okay to mix
antibiotics and pain killers. I’ve learned the Spanish word for PAIN
is DOLOR. If you extract the L you get DOOR. Every language is a door
to a different language. My parents met in Greece and if they hadn’t
emigrated then I might’ve been an educator in Zografou. In lieu I practise
educated guessing. Not everyone understands Greek, but I’ve learned
most people understand the language of poetry and the language of toothache.
Tomasz Wiszniewski is currently developing his first collection of poetry, Age of Elephant. He likes to delve into dream clay and unaltered streets, and plans to travel extensively in the near future. You can read him in Ghost City Press, Bywords, OCCULUM, and formercactus, or on Twitter @tomxwinters