lesle lewis


Certain things are for certain.

       You put your umbrella in the car and leave your car in the parking lot and lock the car and later go back to the car to get your umbrella but forget your keys and it’s raining. You don’t push the bad things off but let them break off on their own. You have desolation in your soul. I’ll just jiggle it to fix it.

It’s okay

       if in the total collapse of meaning, this is the temperature.

It’s not true

       that only like things can be added. We continue adding until the excess lessens itself.

A big fat bird call.

       Water comes out of our guns. Our currency is defunct.

When no one needs us,

       we need ourselves. We use every bit of what we have and it depends on who loves whom and who wants what and what it is. Just us.

Tulip and Bird City, Ohio.

       Where is Henry? He isn’t here.

Our papers stick out

       over the edge of the table. At least we have a table.

My dreamy cookie baker,

       you don’t stop talking. Your urgency is on.

Us and/or them.

       Did I forget to say that we are white?

How are our minds not blown away?

       Have we fallen into the sea or into psychedelics?

Your shape falls unlit.

       Your shadow falls on a boat, a newspaper, garbage, an egg, a field, a fish, a school, a neck, a highway, New England, a herd of cows along a snaking river. Sun pours on the river, opens us and breaks us. The problem is how love eats us up.

South is down from here.

       Save us from your certainty!

I anticipate your departure.

       I act cheerful as if cheerfulness were here. I become this gladly flying sock shape. “I will not let you have the weapons that I have.”

Thank you very much,

       but no. I say no to happiness for something better.

Chicken bridge is

       where the chicken truck crashed.

We drive to Sally’s and have lunch.

       The space between us is quiet, quiet like a village of butterflies. We stand on separate triangle peaks. We move our palms up and down, weighing the air and feeling the metaphor. Others suffer that we may travel.

The world without us,

       a mood, flat on the horizon. A small crooked one.

In a kitchen pot,

       the Great Temple of Love in Bridgeport.

Our hearts are yanked out.

       If we break our pills in half, we can have two good days. If we dig down deep enough, we come up with real hope if we can come up. We hope the tractor won’t break down. We hope the crops grow. We pray dams won’t displace the villages.

The air is slippery.

       People slip away. Please don’t give me anything else to think about before bed or I’ll think about it. I don’t care if nothing holds it all together.

I’m in my big-girl bed.

       I look over valley and hills and try to account for other lives. I am audience to their baby happinesses. Happinesses go away. Infinity goes in every direction. Let’s piece together a diagram of directions.

We are in the midst of desire.

       When desire finds its language it’s as relieving as finding a lost dog. If he ran off to eat deer guts, that’s what he did. Our lives can change, will change, in a second, any second. Whoever is drinking a martini. You are beginning, just beginning, to wish you were wearing clothes.

You sing to yourself.

       You are lovely, stretched, imagined. I don’t get tired of looking at you, so battered and proud, classic, hopeful, full of garlic and mountains. The grass is pushing the limits of green. Other people are walking around. I feel porous. The big birch drips its buds. The boy duck quacks for his girl.

Here’s a beetle, a hundred dollars, a shell, a muffin.

       Here is a truth about all things so urgently and so logically mattering so much to so many. Here is a bridge out and what’s left of it that’s not symbolic.

Here is the time it takes your medicine to work.

       Here is the sound of the leaves sliding out of their slippery cases. Here is the fallout,the falcon, the corpse, the splash of animal. Everything is ragged. It’s best that you come home.

Here is an improvisational water rat.

       Here are farm women dreaming of fire engines. Here’s a bucketful of large eggs, a house of goats, a hot geranium, astronauts flying over highways, kitchens in rabbit holes, bodies made of clay. Here is a road to walk which connects to another and heads into town,then out of town, up the mountains into the sky.

We blast out.

       We have no obstacles. Our spirits hum.

How many poems?


How many moons?


How many boyfriends?


A thought with all its parts separate

       is spread out on the ground before us. It weighs seven pounds and slides over flat rocks. This is the bright red wet cut end of a log, what we are, where we are, what we do.

Here is our whisper in time.

       I hope we can forgive and kiss each other.

Here are windows, frogs, frog worries.

       Here are some chirping vague undulating imprecise fluids where compact objects ride
gravitational waves.

This is like sitting by a waterfall or an open state of minding.

       Where we end up will be beside the point–or beside the pond. Here are some of the many combinations of playing kids.

A sheep hovers over the text.

       A house sits on the text. A man sits on the house.

Here is the end to your pain radiating in soft hills of gray and creamy browns.

       You can’t remember where you saw the fox or why you wanted my address.

Tonight Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn are visible.

       Your bedroom is a restaurant. Your train is off its track. Your dog is better than your notebook. What gold do you carry in your pollen baskets? What kind of truck do you drive?

We are little people

       on the surface of a planet. This is an unflat and interesting planet. This is an edge of grasping nature and void. This is austere but also excessive. This is one minute explained seven ways. If you are a wind in the world, I am a breeze. Life is like a breeze. Here is an unsanded sharp corner.