June, 26th 2015
How cliché to say Cicada
song and mean White River
where summer air breathes
like roux, every note echoes off
Jon boats. I want to say your name
like it’s mine, familiar and bitter
as chicory, no toothbrush can
brush out, carry the taste like
secret in my mouth all day.
Say honey and mean vertebrae
gilded in sunshine and scalloped
like a tissue paper paged book
meant for finding where I left
off quick, when the song kicks
back in after the silence that being
watched brings. We’ve lived
too long among roots to not
sing the hymn of surviving
the work of breaking
out of your own flesh.
says he can blow if you host
alone. You know the curtains
need airing out anyway, dust hugs
itself in every crack of crown
molding. How stagnant still life gets
caught between days you poured
boiling water down the drain
dislodging another wasted piece,
bread or hair or browned onion
bit no one would want to find
between chicken and something
unknown in this week’s casserole.
says a pig like you deserves to get
muddy. How sterile and crisp
the floor and bed have been
since marriage, everything
always in its place, each body
in its chalk outline, each crease
folded into final rights, a bleached
brilliant porcelain white shroud.
All you want to do is rip
blinds from the sockets, open
every shutter, closet and cabinet
door, shatter every inch of glass,
say it’s easier to rebuild than wait.
John Andrews’ first book, Colin Is Changing His Name, was a finalist for the 2015 Moon City Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in 2017. His work has appeared in Redivider, The Queer South: LGBTQ Writers on the American South, Columbia Poetry Review, Burnt District, and others. He holds an MFA from Texas State University where he served as managing editor for Front Porch Journal. Currently, he is PhD student at Oklahoma State University and an associate editor for the Cimarron Review.