your each ear resembles / a tangerine wedge / you have an excellent
voice / this is my attempt / at a more flattering sort
of love poem /
                        you write / because for you / history will strip away
her pretense of pedagogy / reveal something
vascular / buzzing wires branching / hissing sweetly
into / your tangerine ears / I write because / I have
a terrible memory /
                                    how public / like a frog / each figure paused
in the other’s landscape / mountains lilac
and alive with kindling / our mouths heavy with promise /
the same way a stone is heavy
with water / here
                                    / I am exhuming / trophying
every loss and loose item / there
you are likely writing / better love poems / even
                                                with our hands over our ears /
we’re too busy listening / we’re two buzzards listlessly picking
at a truth that won’t grow fresh / the carstruck deer won’t wake /
walk away /
                                                            please / before we get too coarse
with each other / before we both lie down at this road’s edge / re-empty
your jacket pockets / your backpack / your closet / walk me through
the detritus of your drawers again / I’ll write it all down this time

Brenna Courtney studies at the University of Virginia.

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