March 17, 2016


Caleb J. Oakes lives in the Western Hemisphere. He’s studied poetry in anti-social corners for one-sixth of his life. He’s getting tired of it. It’s snowing outside right now and he has five stitches in his right thumb. Also he really wants a dog.

My breath is a bass line, rolling
artillery. A secret sudden as thunder,
low concussions that sound like
a cave,
like giant wings.

Your breath peels like a violin
it rises up onto its toes and
cranes chin, exposing neck before collapsing.
It’s a thin note that rings until
any monk would lace their eyelashes
at the sincerity.

Your hand is a white spider
arched against my pelvic bone.
Pale spread of skin.
Sweet fingers. When everything
goes deaf, I know exactly where we are.
Your breath in the limbo of your lungs.
This is us, one muscle
taut then slack then shaking.

While our chests are still rising and
dropping against each other, closing
the space between us, I’ll put my mouth
next to your ear and say: there are rivers
that flow under the ground. Great, black
rivers that will never run dry.

© Caleb J. Oakes

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