Sept/Oct 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 5 PoetryMarch 19, 2024 |

How I’ll Make It Better

Take this corn shooting up from a barrel. Take this rifle singing dire songs in your parents’ attic. Under someone else’s mask is a mouth wrapped around a clear vowel, surely. Surely they’re crying too behind those steady eyes. They don’t mind that the little girl said sleep is a drip of dying. But I’m wired all night trying to counter. Come up with nothing but the stink of wild garlic on my tongue and the restraint of an old pony slowing down my heart. Everyone we know is still alive, so what can’t be a talisman? One unused Band-Aid, a dachshund gnawing on the sun. I’ll jam the toes of our shoes inside each other until I’ve made a nautilus of footwear. I’ll bite through the stars that leaked across the lake. Whatever gets caught in my teeth is what I’ll offer next. Stuffed pineapple. Spider’s new strands draped from the lintel to the doorjamb. What’s too thin to swallow I’ll still breathe, take it with me. I suppose when I go to sleep I don’t go anywhere

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Photo of Dan Rosenberg
Dan Rosenberg's first book, The Crushing Organ, won the 2011 American Poetry Journal Book Prize, and will be published in 2012. Recent poems have appeared in Jellyfish, Unstuck, and Gulf Coast. He is a PhD student at the University of Georgia and a co-editor of Transom.

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