Two Poems | by Alexis Bates

The Eyes Dilate Larger Here
after Graham Foust’s “From a Finished Basement”

Your eyes, a hundred lightbulbs,
             throb like drugs.

But from me or the dusk?

Here we are, not
speaking in the loose way.

There is no better silence.
Here we are, not afraid.

Of what?
Are we not afraid of a kiss?
Not to kiss?

       To what
          we are not speaking of,




as barley tears into me
after Robert Hass’ “Between the Wars”

the grass muttering
and lightly maniacal cicadas
they hear me

coolness boils up
the sweet dew of grass

and barley tears into me
in this air this air
which sounds like
burnt grass

first it was dark

starved clouds cried
as a woman
whom I thought I knew

drove the cicadas crazy
with the torture of grass

I hear them all



Alexis Bates is a poet and writer that uses words to initiate intimacy with an audience. You can read her work in Luna Luna Magazine, Five:2:One, Vagabond City Lit, and elsewhere. Her micro-chap, When Cars Touch, is published with Ghost City Press.