She steps out, sees the stars hurrying to make shapes. Inches beneath the lawn, beating hearts passing like a river. Herons and beating hearts and terrible rock music in the light bulbs above the heads of missing persons. Those worms with 98 percent of my DNA, I want to say why did I ever eat you to disgust people. She's thinking of peaches, stacked in a line across the sink. One speck of light stuck outside each. Lifting one at a time to her ear as if they would this time tell the truth. I ate the worms with a robot gut and today I hear preacher, preacher, preacher, where did you slump? She spills into the backyard like foam, apologizing to no one. A window frame with the glass bust out. In the sky, holes on a skin where the light gets through and her tongue coming out in little flicks. A chair, an archer, a fruit tree leaning to the earth and it won't stop.
I'm ripe. I'm waiting for the new jet planes to fall on my fat head. I picture clouds that keep an eye on me just waiting for the chance. It's quiet now, except for the ringing in my ear. The birds and monkeys have stopped talking so pay attention. What falls to the floor has nothing to do with nets in the sky. A family of prehistoric palms whose seeds people grind to flour, with a neurotoxin that slowly kills their brains. Running about on sand with bellies full trying to keep the wing shadows on their foreheads. I am also too slow. Taken out, loved until I no longer fit back into the bag. Imagine every day I wake up I am happy that I woke up. The low whine of lawnmowers, a cloud of biting insects hanging from little strings. Blow me out of the way on your way in to me.
Christopher Citro is the author of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy (Steel Toe Books), and his poems appear or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Best New Poets, Missouri Review, Sixth Finch, Hayden's Ferry Review, and Crazyhorse.
Dustin Nightingale lives in West Hartford, Connecticut. His poetry has been or will be published in journals such as The American Journal of Poetry, new ohio review, Cimarron Review, Portland Review, and decomP.
Photograph by Christie MacLean