October 14, 2011KR OnlinePoetry

22. Across; 30. Across

from Life as a Crossword Puzzle

22. Across

In the dream where people relive
the same moment over and over
he whispered, Build me a beginning.
Then arranged himself in front of a Polaroid
camera. His eyes leaked a gravitational energy,
and our conversation continued
coated with the unstained sounds
of Spring. I stood there watching the light
flash against his forehead, and completely forgot
what it felt like to have my picture taken.

30. Across

Inside thirty-three sad seconds
where an apple tree is chopped down
and thrown into a bonfire
by someone smeared with red and blue bodypaint,
or behind the venetian blinds of the schoolhouse
which conceal more than sharpened pencils,
a firecracker, and the wrong vote
an argument is reshaping the way you see things.

And like the dream you dream every night
with uninvited guests
and rooms dark with hierarchy,
you will stumble aimlessly through the part
of the brain where music urges you to fall in love.

You will forget about yesterday
with the traffic of perky-breasted soccer moms
buzzing through stop signs high on peppermint lattes
and the sun, how it fell like a discarded cigarette
from the tattooed arm of your dentist.

Noah Falck's next book, Exclusions, will be published in 2020 by Tupelo Press. He lives in Buffalo, New York, where he works as education director at Just Buffalo Literary Center. Photo by Marcus Jackson