by Jake Byrne
The Craigslist post requested two
boys: bushy-tailed, chipmunk-cheeked
pure hearts, yadda yadda. We struck
camp at daybreak in a hamlet
where Churchill’s voice is still
tonic as brandy. I love you but
we need to find clean water
and a flower that blooms
with the fragrance of mischief. I don’t or can’t tell you
about the men I think I’m kissing
before I’ve fully woken up. I’m not asking
for a love spell, just its shadow word: commitment.
When we speak of things worth doing
we’re not talking about risk, I’ve tried
Advil and the almanac,
stuck my dad’s gemsteel machete
in the mouth of your tributary
but the beach was needled with Irukandji stings.
And if I fall victim to ensorcelment? Visions
of other lives spent with other bodies,
the subtle glamers of crème de violette.
Consulted a friendly teenaged haruspex
and she ripped a wet fistful
of entrails, orange with Easy Mac.
This is, at best, a neutral omen.
But baby, we can make this work. I can do it
for you: be a conduit. Interpret
the letter of the lightning:
every thing that enters exits
into undiscovered country.