Bobbi Lurie

celestial salvation no hymn
no canticle no innocence yet beauty felt as miracle from a quick kiss shall i say "indifferent" or shall i say my cheek still feels it as reverence as white coming clean in a solitude of violas the hallowed and the hum of my heart ones who are dying are the ones least liked ones dead magnanimously praised briefly we atrophy into being other than the usual reluctance seeking the city for a pittance of happiness the pulp of our pittance never peeps black glass covers the coffin kneeling praying people do this i wear sky blue to the funeral strings of the harp more powerful than the vacant body i try to avoid the one who kissed me his synchronization was perfect the rituals rise and fall all of us part of the assembly

late afternoon shadow beginning to breathe help
for the vastness meant to be called love silent in wheelchairs television with the volume off small and gray nurses wash and dress without haste an acrid smell the loss of taste carnations violets lilies in vases smile at the green like dappled light like child whose last hour is a song or wound so much silence so little to say black oaks bats pavement translucent as paper laced with less twice single halo weightless plucked away too cluttered i feel that too sitting with you the comfort of watching you half asleep drifting between this life and the deep your body a lens through which i see ocean of memory no one knows after the body lays down its sorrows not even vultures more patient than priests

something like a mime in a busy airport
life crisis leaking facsimile of night in hotel bathroom part of life would be but now lost yet also exposure of aloneness the groups invade in spaces pits of resentment avoidable only by canceling plane ticket shyness plus situation in general gargantuan though those in power win and i'm not it i introduced myself to the buffet instead of personages with extroverted personalities reassuring it (the buffet) i had no hunger profanity stripes imperfect speech yes and poor prognostications etiology of pain unknown but that had nothing to do with the lunch crowd even if i were to sit alone at a table in camouflage to live as if last day easy other is hard once needing to move things if only a trip to italy or to france or a place with no family but a place where there is love my favorite part in your monologue i must say is the part i didn't listen to curve of a gaze came upon as if suddenly without words might have counted on the only thing a life without epiphanies is all i ask of poets and or a life without fake camaraderie or a life without need for blurbs to not need eulogy not quite enough an illness to be metaphorical must be benign otherwise no time to write to live until death with messy kitchen endless monologue when asked for bio headed for the centrifuge wanting to dream of street corners not as pendant (petulant) or collectible but as blank sheet of paper something like a mime in a busy airport unencumbered outmoded my brain is a lake of wild geese a willow without dignity blank face of birch trees saturated with migraines and questions on how to survive

a tongue at the mercy of stars
at the mercy of your face forced to clean a window be a woman waving vanishing point of the pupil is the dilating eye marked with an asterisk this experience is decorating my solitude with vanished markets prayers even more so mutated this residential flow of traffic where you have never been bouncing off of cars movement might mystify though i confess the border of my eye turns to you for grief makes a good story defaced clock is the time piece in my pocket a life of fingerprints i have left in lieu of my presence

tacos are a flowering plant just south of here
i offer myself to be swept clean of agony deserted and denounced due to conspiracy late at night i ate taco shells from the cupboard tacos are a flowering plant just south of here i admitted my part in between mouthfuls of blood old photographs an image which won't lift is the landscape which requires i swim in my earnest bathing suit how many changes necessitate a purchase shaken earth so many girls waiting to be women lied to by their mothers about the infinite distances as if a world of rivers and fruit stores full of insects not to mention the holes in my autobiography such fragile sticks against the doorways like boys once were devouring an innocence with equal innocence meaning myth is what the other half listens to we are all headed to be forsaken by animal hearts a mountain of poor attempts unredeemable once denounced cows pigs lambs blood the perfume merchants to cover the scent of putrid flesh every handcuffed ended relationship drained of blood and milk such basic substance is the human flesh hallucinating hunts that resist the murder at dawn each sharpened blade splinters for the pleasure of dying in bedrooms other than this one no one sleeps in this panorama of open eyes bitter incandescent no one sleeps mummified into the violent chill of biology i bristle serpents waiting claw and caw a glow or roses artificial sight to be frivolous in the taverns any flamenco dancer worth her weight in weather dreams of damp earth every glass of wine rose grimaced between teeth let us not pretend protest all you want

All of the above pieces by Bobbi Lurie are part of a new manuscript titled "The Morphine Poems"—other "morphine poems" can be found in Otoliths #8 and Otoliths #9. Her third poetry collection, Grief Suite, is forthcoming from CustomWords. She lives in the middle of nowhere.

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