Two Poems By Paul Lisicky

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

I Am Fucking With My Enemy

I am fucking with my enemy because I think it would be a fair afternoon to do so. Oh, he is no longer my enemy except at certain hours, in certain locations, such as hat shops and bait shops. There were never any knives. I turned the war in and on myself, though I was too good at it for scars. See what happens when we turn in opposite directions? Once I would have broken a whole pine forest with my bare hands in order to get to the hot little swamp, and now I hear his footfalls on my steps. It is good to have the steak in front of us and not devour it. We even put each other in our mouths. And I don’t for one minute miss the wonky nights of old.


I think I’ll eat a whole jar of Nutella and weep, not that I have any food in the house. I’ve kept it severe for years, which might be why I’m starving right now. I must want to starve, or else I’d say, hey, it’s our birthday. The cars rush by the bedroom window, flaming with bodies that can’t stay still tonight. They think if they keep moving they won’t break someone’s arm. They’ll break someone’s arm, and more, not to mention the little boy who’s crossing the ditch in the bicycle. He’s had enough of his mother’s silence, enough of the stale sprouts on his sandwich, and when the car hits him from behind, he doesn’t fly over the tops of the trees as the stories said he would, but he freezes and glitters and turns into the form of a cardinal. The cars keep moving. I’d like to say it’s not so bad to let this night go unsung, but I just can’t do it. You’re waiting for me to pick up the phone — isn’t that right? I walk outside and dream what’s left of us on a piece of toast.

Paul Lisicky’s latest books are Unbuilt Projects and The Burning House.

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