archives fall 2007



Dressing the Way

It’s easy putting your vest on back to front,
It’s easier never to do what’s recommended,
what your mother told you would be the death
of your tiny days should you not grant her complete
immortality with your smaller soul, pounded out
by the counts of tender-soled feet.  Barefoot
should not be a way to see the vest for what
it actually betrays:  the torso hot with thrumming
escapes.  Do you remember back at school
when that teacher crashed his bike?  You watched
ants carry off his bloody puddles, back to summer
cabins and the queen’s hut of a loose dirt hill. 
You wanted so much to reduce this world
to that exact moment the fleshy bits would be
too large for an ant’s meal.  I’m not going to talk
about any place anymore because you don’t listen
and it only makes things worse.  You are the me
I hold in a distant envelope, torn shoes,
broken sky above her head, watching the bike
toss his legs beneath it.  Every object suddenly
had a purpose to behold, an impurity to withdraw,
if I would only watch and listen
to those not invested with the power of plenty,
the permission of superior beings, but ones that
crawl from this vest pocket, turn a corner away
from the ambulance who screams for attention,
with a mutated ear for the underbelly, knitting
socks that never demand, only asking we see
a way from a path that keeps us safe and criminal.


Hot Pursuit

The thing to do with a pretty girl
is own her outright,
edge your way in
with deeds, a few vows,
own her
with every fire
you land smartly in,
turn into flames,
the flickers of your red licking

In the midst of tutelage
walks the small of a back
unnoticed, unstroked,
the spine neglected
by a child’s grasp,
a lover’s pressure
as promised:
find her here by your heated hand—

Maybe the sky will shine
or clouds sound freely:
hold hard a heady thrust
untyped, letter-bound,
payback with motion
that makes even smoke burn
and our stories run
together turning to poems
that find us, bring us apart,
both ends fitted, fire based.  


Amy King is the author of I’m The Man Who Loves You (BlazeVOX Books, 2007), Antidotes for an Alibi (BlazeVOX Books, 2005), and The People Instruments (Pavement Saw Press, 2003).  She teaches Creative Writing and English at SUNY Nassau Community College, is the editor-in-chief for the literary arts journal MiPOesias, and is also a member of the Poetics List Editorial Board.