Sometimes someone gets cut & the wound blossoms
From infection. There are so many germs & bacteria—
Enough to go crazy, at least. I’m lucky not to be afraid
Of the dentist or needles or death, but I am really scared
Of skittering things, like rats or the toy in Kafka’s
“Cares of a Family Man.” I’m scared of space and rain—
Or TOO much inflamed tissue—things out of control.
More people or things than I can count, or that I might
Have time to count, given the time I have left.
All the leaf blowers sound like chainsaws.
Or sometimes my body just goes without me feeling it.
If you cut a circle into quarters, & those quarters
Into quarters & those quarters into quarters,
& so on, that’s a truly scary monster. Most of the people
I know are people I love, but every so often someone
Does something I can’t comprehend, like murder.
For my sins, I live in the city of Atlanta
In which emotions pop in rolling boxes
A man in one waves at me, angry that I’d stopped
A woman in another waves at me, happy that I’d stopped
In the next box, I keep my eyes closed and to myself
In one panel, it’s the Hulk; in the next, Bruce Banner.
Where does the phrase “resting bitch face” come from?
In one viral video, strangers kiss each other, &
In another, strangers hit each other,
Both staged & bad ideas.
Take these sonnets, for instance,
Each one discrete in one way or another.
How much longer will I inhabit?
What’s the cost of crossing?
The 4th of July was full of holes this year
Later filled by thundershowers and high barometric pressures
Two runaway blimps ran into each other
I fell asleep and ran into a mailbox
Fell asleep while walking
That’s what happens when one is missing fireworks from one’s life
I could have bought them legally in South Carolina, but didn’t
Pins & Needles
I heard a singer say he’d mix up a rainbow and inject it into my arm. That doesn’t sound like a very good idea.
Isn’t it supposed to be dark in there?
From the outside, rain hurts—both speed and temperature—and so do Lego pieces when I step on them.
I’ve been ripped off before.
This is one of the reasons why I prefer so much unoccupied space.
I want to make sure phonemes haven’t harvested in my crackers or fruit.
I want to make sure serifs don’t swarm all over my skin.
Bruce Covey’s sixth book of poetry, Change Machine, was published by Noemi Press in 2014. He lives in Atlanta, GA, where he publishes and edits Coconut magazine and Coconut Books and curates the What’s New in Poetry video reading series forReal Pants. He is also Small Press Editor for Boog City and has taught at Emory University, Yale University, and the Atlanta College of Art.