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Last night’s songbird. Tonight’s theremin or kite. Owls, abduction. Alighting lights. We each had dreamed a calling, a cantillating dove, transmission, telepathy, elation. Were or were not of the same mind or neither, the same kind or hybrid. In a sedan on fire or not on fire, or the cottage on the waste of a highway’s long strip. Then lab or labyrinth. Pristine bone or carving on a plinth of crystal, cool
master breath. This is how and why we break and share our bodies, divide and share our black eyes and our blood, inviting. They did sleep with us. Their lights strobed. Widening forceps, stirrups, cortex, lobe. Predicate or delicate nurses, load us
into syntax, section by section. Sentence, helix. Of legs and hips, naked backs that thrum with rays, light rain or whatever it is. Of ribs. Transformative coding. The codeine-slow crawl of each emission. Transitional visions, each passed like a glass and pressed with palm-prints. The logbooks of your clinics, pressed with gray erasures. We are now nothing more
than cases, tooth-shaped, blurred with abscess. Tender, wonderful, painful brain-pans, egg-space, hollowed pillar. Our white skies clear, bereft of messengers. We passengers.
Ryan Patrick Smith received his BA in English from Transylvania University and MFA in poetry from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. His poetry was runner-up in the 2015 Boston Review Poetry Contest and semi-finalist in the 2015 92Y “Discovery” Poetry Contest, and his poems appear or are forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, DIAGRAM, and Salt Hill, among others. He is a native of Kentucky, and he teaches in the MFA program at Lindenwood University.
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