Emily R. Clark: Two Poems

My Neighbor, Samuel

deadbolts the door,
stumbles down three steps.

He’ll trip up and down them twenty,
thirty times in the course of an hour.

Samuel’s green Converse shoes
thud on the concrete steps.

Watching from my window,
all I can do is stall his compulsion
for a few still minutes
by stepping outside to say hello.

My neighbor says she hears him
sobbing, after he’s used up all our water
seeking to sterilize and scourge his skin.

Face down on linoleum,
his suffering seems softer.


Luna Moth

The way words fall to the floor
And I hallucinate you in my arms

Catching you was so strange
I dreamed you were smaller
Curvier than water
And my hands,
ripples down your spine.

I peek into your eyes
And hush
To kiss the eyelids

Hovering like a whirring luna moth
Over your body

And the wings I disturbed
Rested deadly in my arms

You were suffocated under water
And I carried you

Wet breasts pushed against my t-shirt
Hugging silence

And you lay still on my bed
Lips stirring
I murmured back

And hours of sleep draped over us
I spooned you as if you were mine.

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