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  • A day racing tinfoil boats or my sorrow upon discovering my non-omnipresence, and: In the matter of developing jealousy of weather, a case of water-flattened hair and jealousy of rain, and: A list of everything, not including trees
  • 1988–2015 Jared Coffin

A day racing tinfoil boats or my sorrow upon discovering my non-omnipresence

Already I’ve forgotten to hide. I’m embarrassed     when the river is gullible       and believes my body’s form.

Lexi lingers on the rock, delineated as a lizard. Her limbs jitter   under sunlight before she eliminates each leg

    in the murky spool. We are slow elephants, watching the yellow paws fall     and drift along the long water.

Blue pines idle in the mud. I know they are jealous     when Lexi unpeels a mottled leaf and sticks it to her noiseless forearm.

The crow-black water billows around   round and algae slick boulders and I am surprised

our bodies haven’t opened to join it to their own. Maybe we’re not wrong enough to be forgiven

    yet. Maybe I’ve neglected to cross my skin across your skin. I’m too busy pressing a foil canoe     into the water and thumbing my melancholia:

the notion that the river’s not the oak forest     and the oak forest is not the river.

Lexi erases a rock beneath her dripping limbs.   The drops stain dark freckles in the dirt. Did you see it: every moment       the erasure of every possible moment?

Even at lunch we have no oranges unless we have oranges. Let’s hope it’s not too late to be

  hungry. The best we can do, love, is sink into hair and into flesh. [End Page 227]

In the matter of developing jealousy of weather, a case of water-flattened hair and jealousy of rain

Stepping away from the castle Lisa’s hair       is a misspelled word. The rain has come         early and pulls down her curls the way I can’t.

The gray leg of the ground turning under us, holding seams       filling with liquid. Seams searching out       seams. The lake, appearing around the pines, making unmemorable gestures.

Morning and the oak tree filtering her apartment, the sand     and cigarette butts I imagine around its roots   how this is city happy       makes me happy.

Because the light isn’t thick and Lisa’s wearing her life on her       skin, the tough pink thing of it         the question of it fading black below her

    nape I pretend to circle, easily, like the neck     of a beer John didn’t give her. I say

the feather washed into my sheets a little. I say your smile   lets me know your body grows around     your mouth, a hung-up coat.

The feather hung above the seams     means I’m inconsolable, means my hair is slime

for three years. I’d like to tell you anything. Did you know cupping sunlight isn’t hot? Cupping sunlight isn’t hot. Fog     wanders my windshield and I am not angry at the fast color             called time, [End Page 228]

the lines about Plath I never read, the pebble-toothed man you left me to. Only the rain, your hands stammering over   my back and the tarot cards     striping your thoughts with Palmetto trees. I can tell you now       that you won’t believe them this time. [End Page 229]

A list of everything, not including trees

After the rainman puddles, I bury the water in the backyard.

Lexi is watching from the porch and tasting rain droplets off the blue wood. If the rain was river water, she is happy. My eyes want to debunk her

face, but there is no word I know that makes a girl vanish. Most uncoil into soft animals with harsh colors, so I have been dog earing all the trees

before they turn to books. Because we are taller than each other, the way she jumps as the snake dives overhead, over hair with a sole red streak, into the pool

with rust pants caught on rust rocks overlaid by water that turns white with speed, the way men’s hair turns white with time. I am tired of tuning the...


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pp. 227-231
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