You Don’t Get One Thing Without The Other

My days have known nothing of my nights
furious storms breaking retaining walls
and floods that drowned my mind
stranded my soul on slate rooftops
sent my eyes and lips and liver floating fast
and boiled waters into waste

My nights, spent in shelters with night people
assembling new solutions from a saved pocket watch,
grand maw-maw’s crochet, photographs of fatal surgery
and their collections of foreign songs and feathered wings

I see ankles finer than madness
shoulders greyer than pearl
mouths rouged with pinot noir
thighs as thin as poppets
earrings strung out on clotheslines
and patience as short
as Pepin the dwarf in the vaudeville next door.

I have seen the starry dome crack itself to let in moonlight and rain.

Previously published in ZONE: Internation Journal of Poems and Prose.

Reid Mitchell, a New Orleanian, now teaches at Huaqiao Daxue in Quanzhou, China. His poems have appeared in various journals including Cha, Asia Literary Review, Pedestal, and In Posse. Reid’s “Sea Shells”“Midnight Morning” and “For J.G. Ballard”are also in Reprint.