Saturday, April 19, 2014

Three Poems by David Greenspan

March 15, 2013Print This Post         


In her lungs, dirty
water and often
birds crowd until
she vomits feathers.
Her antidepressants,
safe in a matchbox
alongside the pebble
removed from her
lungs – the pebble
removed from her
last terrible blue.
Her scalp a pine tree
stripped of needles
and brushed slow
and now the cold
syringes do not work.
The birds lonely,
often they call
and loud. Their grief
a suitcase. Inside
this suitcase is not
much of anything –
raw honeysuckle,
a few raspberries.
I chew her lungs
as all the pretty birds
turn to pretty music
and all the dirty water
inside her turns soft
to glorious pebble.
Now I feel her heart
beat fast through
my finger-skin and
now I feel her heart
beat only raspberry.



Now a brick thrown
towards my face,
oh my face she has
cut clean. My face
is absent of honey-
suckle, absent of
anything growing.
My teeth cracked
into subway tokens
and dammit look
now – examine
closely my teeth.
Examine closely
my awe and her
wonder. Look now,
all the honeysuckle
creeps soft from
between her legs.
All the hair she
has cut warm
from my face
grows delicate
between her legs.
I must now have
her legs covered
in holes, covered
in plants, covered
in any such thing.
I must now have
her face soft and
covered in rivers.



She swims reckless
in puddles of this joy
pooled across my body
as dandelions explode –
oh how sweet her ransom.
Unlock now this door
inside my ears and look
our bed sprouts berries
wild. We gather many
baskets gorged on berries
and soon these branches
are pale violin-wood.
Your limbs are bird
tired but darling –
do not think for even
one second this harvest
is of siren, of cigarette
Her ransom grows hair,
a beard to match and
her ransom does not
grow elephant summer.
She daydreams of sweat
the way drunks dream
of liquor and she sings
paper-bag blues. Before
any exchange I drink
bathwater and replace
her eyelashes with glue,
with thunderclap. Now
her ransom demands
I surgery my heart into
many untied shoelaces.


About the Author:

David Greenspan is the author of How They Strike a Balance (forthcoming from Nephew); as well as the chapbooks i tried to bear the elephants and lost (NAP) and Then (Turtleneck Press). David’s poem have appeared, or will soon, in alice blue, Anti-, Midwestern Gothic, West Branch, and Whiskey Island. Find him online at

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