‘Two More Poems’ by Tom Snarsky

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MANAGORGER

The air was fragile and traveled so fast
into and out of the cat’s lungs. I felt so sick
then didn’t, light headache, manageable.

That was almost managorger if Autocorrect
had had its say, but I said no w/my thumb
so it came out correct, not corrected

but still changed a little, since if I hadn’t
done anything a hydra would’ve burst
through my head for only two colorless

plus one green mana, starting small as a 1
/1 and then getting bigger every time a spell
hit the stack, eventually trampling everything

including the cat and probably me, my
life, my phantom sicknesses, all the beauty
I’d ever come to know, including the ambiguity

of whether that ’d in line 15 meant had
or would and why, like was it trying to hide
something, or believe it or not trueing

to hide something (when did I type that?
Do you have to type something for it to appear
in the autocorrect dictionary? I don’t know,

nor do I know why it’s sometimes uppercase
& sometimes not) the way lies sometimes do
everyone a favor by keeping a hard truth

obscured from ruining everything under wraps
soft? fuck it no words come close to my lover
’s spit / and I’ve only ever tasted it / in ash

In the quiet water of subtidal habitats,

you have enough breathing room to misread
subtidal as suicidal, your brain predicting
what it sees now will be like
what you’ve been googling, low in your cove
of grayblue feeling. All the arts,
all of them, have led us to this ice. You
mix paints for the sea slush
and you’re out of green—you squeeze
the tube and it gives you nothing, the sides
touching through a thin layer
of dried paint, and instead of giving up
you leverage colorblindness as an asset
and mix in red instead, so the little
cove you’re painting starts to look like clay
so rich and malleable you could almost eat it.

Tom Snarsky teaches mathematics at Malden High School in Malden, Massachusetts, USA.

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