you are in the diode archives diode v5n2



The Lifeguard

Every job a person does necessarily destroys him in small important ways.
The shoreline is the hem of a dress destroying me;
taken up and let out in a kind of modesty I don’t understand.
Nothing is truly buried in or built from sand. That destroys me.
I look down the beach at little dots of color orbiting a vanishing point.
I think of myself as a pocket of gravity in space
presumed to be weightless. I think of my body doing what the moon does: taking
and repurposing light. I think of the public; how there is no such thing,
how I am a part of it, and the texture of pleasure conflated with risk.
When I lie down at night to sleep, I find myself still breathing
the half breath half kiss of rescue.


The Bourbon Drinker’s Guide to Intimacy

I prefer the contrast of drinking very slowly from a shot glass.
Each sip is immeasurably small, so afterwards
my need is stronger and more invisible.
However you choose to partake, each dead drink
is the husk of a ghost
and also a little empty diving bell
representing the person and the ocean.
It should take a long time, longer than your life,
and you should not walk or speak a lot
as these are the two things that can most betray you.
If you’re sitting in a bar, think of the weight of a dart
disappearing in the air, death throes of the jukebox
mistaken for music. If you’re at home, make sure every light is on
to muffle the sound of pouring, which invokes distance
and gravity. At home you’re responsible, and in the dark it’s easy
to confuse the smell lingering in the ditch
with the dead coming back to life.


The Former Player Provides Commentary

It’s easy to leave it all on the field because the field grows relentlessly.
I feel like an amnesiac holding a photograph.
We talk about these men as if they’re children, these children
as if they’re explosions. But when you’re playing,
you don’t think of it that way, as a child loves
to be chased by her father, moon obscured by clouds,
man and then monster; a process of exhaustion.
These feelings come to you later, looking down at your life,
which can so easily be covered by a piece of paper.
Your body was a door you slammed and slammed.
And then there are all those guys who never make it,
filling the stadium with resentment as a form of worship.
They are luckier than you, and they know it, holding tickets
and diet sodas, lying to their children about teamwork,
living and reliving memories of a life that never happened.  


Jeffrey Morgan’s writing has appeared in journals such as Cutbank, Diagram, Fourteen Hills, and Spinning Jenny. His poetry collection Crying Shame was published by Blazevox Books in 2011.