When I was a child, there were car sounds. I picked up and slipped on a familiar motor hum. Phrases became lap dogs with feet beneath my own. Clever dogs failed bar exams to bring me food and songs. Sentences dangle beyond the cavemouth, where I’m supposed to bite them.
My clammy atmosphere hooks in to punctuation. I remember crayon rubbings of cemetery stones. Footsteps sung by children. Adults speak too neat. My own slumping dogpile of hollow oes and aes behind a deposition of stalagmite. Cave spiders sneer: why don’t you creep above ground.
Outside you are gone by thunder. Outside there are orange flowers. Monastery bells on cell phones. The throat as a thing falling. Here, local grunts and mind-vacancy. Bloodguilty jowls tithe you a bone. Teeth stir quietest movement. I was born by water, so I know how to make mirrors: refract rays; counsel as a picture. When you move lips, you take away some light.
All Bodies are Electric
Technology and I both blossomed, joining fingers
in the morning. When I instruct devices, I remember
to say Please. All night
the slender streetlamps pet and surveil
our napping car. Devices grow flashing lights; babies grow
and lose first teeth.
Please steep for two minutes. Please bring noise
to other noise for me to sleep.
The tea robot is a gift from my beloved: it bothers her that timing
burns my fingers, that hot dark matter
bitters my drinks.
She smiles, and stars collapsing
pause to touch; muffled rumbles
Was it only a particle of dust, then
Mercurial faces (based on strength of beverage).
What if the person in the experiencer role is just some ghost?
Some monitors are also robbers. Should we make roombas bleat
or beg pardon like ladies when they bump our walls? (The robot army
makes us shudder but will say Thank you.)
When I'm hungry and tired and my repair
tea has gone cold, you would help me.
We began, and it pleases. Our bodies
stay systems twenty-four hours. Some buttons cannot be sewn,
some instruments play no notes.
and quarrel—are they too touched by hours?
I throw my bathrobe on the blinking lights
to make it dark for us.
I throw my bathrobe on the blinking lights
to wake before alarms.
A Field Guide to Delicacy
Voyeurs study flora, fossil
They examine the making of beds.
Curtsy and they think
she curtsies nicely.
Oleander overgrows the fence, catches the caretaker’s glance.
More glances arrive from other angles:
dressing and undressing
belong to gardening.
What lovers feel for each other—ticklish
passion. You’ll seduce
the most generous minds.
garter earth to be their best. What if your neck
were a pier toward better light?
They tie you up in peak season
to lecture how special you are.
begonias crackle the carousel. Leg-warmer daisies.
The flower’s beauty
is an armed weapon aimed always at herself, aimed straight from her bearded
Digital photos of garden walks—
children ran through them.
Eyebrows overgrow blue poppies and lily-pad ponds.
Fountains need no primping, so they arrive on time.
I dry fickle skin
with bamboo towels
made for dewy babies.
Try a perennial grown as an annual.
I place my most willowy self in an envelope.
A shopkeeper offers to ship seeds worldwide.
so in veer arms
with nice treatment.
Poor sleep spins vulgar the preexisting condition:
I would be a vase to hold sensations.
I do have a headache,
but an orgasm would make it stop.
Everyday a piano teacher metronomes my forehead:
carry a parasol
but not a turtle shell
Coquetry pains pathological unfortunates:
we forget to weed sex from the words.
For a moment my body holds me carefully.
A butterfly lands on my arm—it leaves a mark.
I’ve written down the Latin names. They wash off in the rain. I don’t know what they're called, but I enjoy them. The deer have been here since 1660. I’m not sure how to touch you, but I set the table with you. Our enclosures delight us.
The internet answers questions with rectangular animations. You are a beautiful weeping ash. Our fuchsia baked in the sun. The flower I named for you closes every evening.
How plantings soften a slope. The steps are wide and end in a choice of follies. Track the water supply with an app. Deadhead the roses. Ponds flaunt the assets of mirrors.
I have pies to bake, succulents to foster. Tame nature without degrading her. If keys were issued for this, they would be bandages. It’s more practical. Our dissolves are methodical. I am in trouble—
I kiss your ankle and glance all the way up.
Anna Morrison lives with her partner in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Her poems won the LUMINA and Prism Review poetry prizes and can also be found in journals such as Puerto del Sol, Shampoo, and Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women. She’s helped make some beautiful books as an editor for Kelsey Street Press, and she is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Saint Mary’s College of CA.