Ashleigh Allen     

 

I couldn’t tell if it was a gun

Look, the Faces of Poor Posture

 

I couldn’t tell if it was a gun

but I wanted to go skating solo while I stood
looking in through your foggy window
where you weren’t watching television or eating
but getting a blowjob and tilting your head back
as if the sun were rising and you couldn’t wait
but she or he really finished you off the lights
dimmed as you kicked what looked like a boot
vertical and it fell a bit to your right something might
have broken there but it doesn’t matter the cumming came
 
I’m still noticing change eating nutella and drinking green
tea on a moonless weeknight in Manhattan where my
neighbor gets sober blowjobs before 10 PM and
Mark was in the New Yorker today
holding bowels or a pretty penny over the world’s
greatest best champion of America forevermore Anne
 
My back bends slightly decidedly to the right sometimes
I held a headstand for ten minutes before I thought I was
going up pointed my violin in the direction west
George Washington in 1776 crossing the crisis
beating the English at their war game with
North American woowoo? No
it was the fog the screen the silence and slip up
the old wazoo Hudson in the mud push off last man
It’s not a gun it’s not even a weapon for a mouth

 

Look, the Faces of Poor Posture

I come home late and don’t open Lear
but read about Williams and Frost both
men fond of Post-It notes and America
(one of those facts in fact a lie)
 
I think of 1996 how I warmed my hands between legs out
of habit my habits themselves fantastic and loosened
from the woven cloud grid like a guided thread or fly
 
A burnt branch in the fire yelps caught off guard
and fingers don’t melt here there’s a law
for faces recognizable in a bad way void
in a birds breast the call unheard or uncalled
 
The days make no one into anything
the weight of a warning is always somewhat
manageable I used to eat at the same restaurant
as people I hated ordering extra mayo


Allen

Ashleigh Allen was born in Toronto, Canada and currently lives in New York City where she studies, teaches, and writes poems.