Poems by Helen Carey

BARKALOW

The window with the light left on
inside gets mistaken for the moon
when driving by quickly, peripheral
vision on the way
back home. Clever trick, shining,
hiding dust storm forms surrounding
it, swallowing whole hallowed fields
into the dried-up ground. Living rooms
and restlessly
burning lamps, bright things
left on in spite of night, spilling over half-
shuffled decks and soaking up half-
opened eyes fooled by well-played bluffs
on the drive home,
ending finally
with the winning hand: a stranded
jingle shell island, harbored in
by frayed edges, burned blue-
stained paper, urging me
to turn the page.

 

CUL-DE-SAC

The pull from the stars, the eternal elemental
woven tension left
unsnapped and unbroken
found us by the end of night, outside, covered
and draped over with the winding weaving
paths of a million empires and negative suns
piled upon one another like streamers stretched across
an empty room,        tense and taut
in the space between, that familiar magnetic hold.

On the other side of the porch all the empty
chairs laid out in a patchwork constellation, phantom
whims of the day’s blinding conversations, consolations
and cocktails, still
sitting in all the shapes of summer’s socialization
blueprints etched in cement.

Swooping black bats overhead and at the end
of the street in front of a parking lot, someone
put out the garbage, old red elementary school chair,
no blueprint,
just left there facing the flat blank house across from it.

We took it and set it down the middle of the cul-de-sac,
dead end circle mirroring swirls
of torn clouds overhead, explosive Van Gogh halos
tightening in the watery sky moving
steadily
away from us
as we sat down in the old red chair and waited.

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