YOU WON’T BELIEVE THESE PUBLIC LOITERERS’ DEFENSE. SOME PEOPLE WILL SAY ANYTHING!
On these evenings our heads tilt
up and become flowers, busting
out of our collars, all iridescent.
Geranium, freesia, gladiolus
erupting straight out of our
used t-shirts. With smartphones in
our pockets—our long winter
coats. Our skin shifts to
druzy, a spiked hymn of glitter
refracting and clutching
the siren-scraped light. The red-
green-yellow No Vacancy din. We
are all wind, all magenta. Our laughter
a rooftop vertigo, a circle of lips
on a bottle’s swan neck. Geode
heartbeats keeping time. A wallowing,
a daisy in cement.
PEOPLE REPORT BACK ON THEIR MORNING ROUTINES. THEY GET UP TO SOME STRANGE STUFF!
When the fog rolls in like this—
when the mist pearls our eyelashes
and everything is cellophane hung-
over gray, and the streets shine impressionist
with turquoise and umber, and the screens
on our windows shudder chainmail lace—
we would will our hands to glow, as if in
a boss fight, as if we were sorcerers. With days left
until the next direct deposit, we refresh,
refresh the app. Thumbs a kind of approximate
glimmer. A battery at ten percent. We snack
on jam and soup crackers. We stroke our sleeping
cats. We hurl our scarves around ourselves
and head out into morning. As if it is
a tired war, an automated bluster. As if it is
a kind of scabbard, us a yielding blade. Onslaught
slow as condensation—struggle,
not so much.
Catherine Kyle is the author of the poetry collection Parallel (Another New Calligraphy, 2017); the poetry chapbooks Gamer: A Role-Playing Poem (dancing girl press, 2015), Flotsam (Etched Press, 2015), and Saint: A Post-Dystopian Hagiography (dancing girl press, forthcoming); and the hybrid-genre collection Feral Domesticity (Robocup Press, 2014). Her website is http://www.catherinebaileykyle.com, and she’s on Twitter as @_catherinekyle.