The Wheel

My stated goal
is to make
closed forms,
which are very difficult
and very beautiful.

My unstated goal
is to fail. I dream
of the break in
your brow, the
swoop of your hair.
I memorize your 
shoulders and I dream
of them covered
in clay.

My first goal
is to never
leave a lover
for another. 
My second goal is
to leave

my body for you;
open up my
stomach, I’m wet
inside like the
licked edge of
an envelope,
the compressed lip
of a pot.

At the bar I swallow
gin after gin
and after five nights
sober each goes
straight to my head
just like you go straight

to my head,
the curls at the
nape of your neck,
the two hand span
of your hips, humid
dip of your
hands in the
sink. Earlier I sank
my hands into the slip,

squared off a wet wall
on the table
top, built a box
that supports itself.
I dream us alone

in the bathroom after
a show. I dream your name
in my mouth
but different
from how I say it
when we say
hello.

My first goal is to not
look at the white clay

on your thighs.
My unstated goal
is to fail.

.

.

Rail

Riding backwards out of the city I’m
chewing my hangnail off clean
Fun Box scrawled on a transformer
Knees spread on the seat

I’m enough of a good body
like a heron in the trash
three fawns under the power lines

Out past the water the white old
rowhomes
I’ve never
seen the underpass unfold like this

Where are we
Do they call it home or Westport

Every few minutes I’m
opening another app
so no one can guess
I’m writing on the train

Look back
at the copper wire
the men huddled around a grey
huge van
a pile of whale flesh
a plywood staircase above the tracks

The tunnel a strobe-flash
My sticky small hands

I can’t say definitively
if I’m a bird in the grass wet
open slipping under through or
all of the above
I know I am the gravel that I built my callused feet upon

For sure I am a meaning
a loop

My sky-pivot green
above the bench
the houses
and the rails

.

.


Aurora Engle-Pratt makes poetry and pottery in Baltimore, Maryland. Her writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The Light Ekphrastic and The Avenue. She tweets into the void @panickyanimal.

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