Academic journal article Field

What Seems like Joy

Academic journal article Field

What Seems like Joy

Article excerpt

how much history is enough history before we can agree

to flee our daycares to wash everything away and start over

leaving laptops to be lost in the wet along with housecats and Christ's

own mother even a lobster climbs away from its shell a few

times a life but every time I open my eyes I find

I am still inside myself each epiphany dull and familiar

oh now I am barefoot oh now I am lighting the wrong end

of a cigarette I just want to be shaken new like a flag whipping

away its dust want to pull out each of my teeth

and replace them with jewels I'm told what seems like joy

is often joy that the soul lives in the throat plinking

like a copper bell I've been so young for so long

it's all starting to jumble together joy jeweling copper

its plink a throat sometimes I feel beautiful and near dying

like a feather on an arrow shot through a neck other times

I feel tasked only with my own soreness like a scab on the roof

of a mouth my father believed in gardens delighting

at burying each thing in its potential for growth some years

the soil was so hard the water seeped down slower than the green

seeped up still he'd say if you're not happy in your own yard

you won't be happy anywhere I've never had a yard but I've had


where water pipes burst above my head where I've scrubbed

a lover's blood from the kitchen tile such cleaning

takes so long you expect there to be confetti at the end

what we'll need in the next life toothpaste party hats

and animal bones every day people charge out of this world

squealing so long human behavior! …

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