Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Incumbent: To Lie Upon

BY MICHELLE PUCKETT

I.
 
Hen of felon slow like qua. Series of apostles taken from christianity when necessary. Money and guns. Money of the sad music. End of eighties. The grey morning sky, the day after. Stinking new hampshire leaf piles. Beer in a can. The feeling of weird science.
 
Back south, syrup on some yams. Sound of horns. Royalty, an announcement of opulence. Eyes, fingers, unfolding. Each one nodding. Wrapping in tight. Wrapping silver. Damn, damn, damn…
 
Same serial stoppage. The way typing feels. The kinds of mistakes possible. Where one stops to cut. Looking back looks different. HORNS.
 
Know when to start a new paragraph. Still writing about writing on a regular basis like it’s a new thing, using old apostrophes when I feel like it. The neck, exposed. A hot plank of skin. A slope, full and bloody. Warm to the touch.
 
1970’s in the evening. Orange pantsuit. That thick material. All of it, in dallas. The country becoming 200 years old. I have a heart, you should know. I am using it as we speak. There is a part (wishbone) in the middle. It touches the panhandle on both ends.
 
Remember the aviary. Gulls on three mornings. As the bird flies. Hair in a clean towel. Walking past people waiting for the bus. Mason jar. Water. Little bit green.
 
A yellow convertible in the grey. Mist. Asphalt all wet black. A commercial. Gun. Gun. The security of a job with a company. Loosened. Soft, soft eighties. Old & done.
 
All the wet things in one place.
 
Make songs make love. Do it like you did it with your barbies. Pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. The isolation of each letter, in print, the single keystroke. The loss of loops/hands/parts that touch. A kiss on the neck. Drumming in time.
 
 
II.
 
The smell of turkey and carpet in texas. Little t once. Let it slide. Mighty reckless. Burst of avian pride. Swelled up red chest.
 
What is possible now. Cry with the voice. With instruments. Typing is like planning. An ablative text. Only the suggestion of coherence remains.
 
I called a woman nanny. She was not my grandmother. She was my step-grandmother.  She bought me avon. She told me if a boy ever tried to put his tongue in my mouth that I should just push it out and say no thank you! The first boy who’s tongue I tasted is dead now. Perforation for the sake of argument, only.
 
Sometimes, you can feel the blood in someone’s legs. Hear the heart moving it.
 
If you stay there, still or moving, in the wanting, horns. Women in a chorus right up against.
 
It gets harder each time. Follow to finish? Let hang loose? There is new wave hope in there. That morning is grey. It is wet. Sustained hum. More than thump, thump. Same as.
 
Chinese new year. Fireworks. The shine of light off the cable wires. Double spark. The things’ second time on fire.
 
 
III.
 
A lump of salty butter. Of shadowless iris. One can literally live inside. Symptoms multiply.  Single crocus. Harm stretched quaking. Beginning that long trickle of death. Bilk: to cheat or swindle.
 
At what point does something become ridiculous? Toward the end, curving into questions – or right at the start when the sign is removed and tenancy ensues?
 
Children, ticks, a lake. Bumble bees the size of Swisher Sweets. Coyotes in real life. A pot of strawberries. Collective marriage. You remember, by virtue of the weather, that you are alive here.
 
Something anchor-sized attached to this goodbye. Thick and lodged in good earth. Oxidizing and greening in the mineral. Woven and married.
 
Your body will never be a breast. I am Russian fiddle. The cheek which is most favored. Only work ever so bright. Only art. Only heavy machinery.
 
Paragraphs placed like docents. There is space. Above all else, we spectate.
 
The Stainless Banner. Denoting the southern states. “Too white” mistaken for truce. Conversations in garments. Always warm and proof. This is where one looses friends outside of the South.
 
Water is soft and silver and taste it. This is only one sincere sincere. All silk. All cream. Bioluminescence for no audience. How to show the balloon the thinness of its own skin?



Michelle Puckett is an MFA candidate in the poetry program at Mills College where she is currently at work on a book of poems that uses family archive to explore the intersections of public & private guilt, national history, and the politics of looking and ordering. Winner of the 2009 Mary Merritt Prize in Poetry, her work has appeared in various publications including Bang Out San Francisco, The Walrus, and Monkey Puzzle Magazine.