Life Machine

            after Christoph Schlingensief

                        in a room full of glowing
                        antique lamps
                        you pulse

            you pluck
            a spectrum

                        scatter it
                        across me

                                    like skin or a net

                                    and cant an altar
                                    of cumulus

                        time’s patterned inertia—

                        wrapped up in
                        the organism
                        you call yourself
                        trying to collect your life
                        as it spills from
                        the prism of body—

we pray for fresh rain
our cups a cistern

we’ll need a brass band
and a truck full of flowers

the radio playing crickets

Robert Balun received his MFA from The City College of New York, where he was a recipient of the Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing and the Teacher-Writer Award. His debut chapbook, Self (Ceremony), is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. His poems have appeared in Bodega, Similar Peaks, smoking glue gun, Heavy Feather Review, Word Riot, and others. He teaches creative writing and composition at The City College of New York.

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