The Birds Are Singing; And Lyudmila Turns Back to Vasily to Say; New Mexico with the Ailing Father
The Birds Are Singing
Ok to no birds singing
Ok to no gold
Ok with the waiting
Ok to a smaller world than the world
Ok between fear and succor
Ok in the seen human crowd
Ok in the half organized midst
Ok astride a mixed orange liquid
Ok it’s an ugly leather coat
Ok sailor no dreamboat sailor in the rain
Ok to no birds and no mothers of birds
Ok to no movie love scene but yes rain
Ok to the 9-minute video where the artists scream into each other’s mouth until both become exhausted
Ok accepting there is not but what can be half felt
Ok with infinitely being me and then possibly being me some more
Ok to what I don't know
Ok to pretending to appreciate abstract art
Ok with chewy whelks with egg noodles
Ok to the continuations
Ok with no bees this summer
Ok with not a perfect love but a love
Ok to not enough pollinators separate male and female yellow zucchini flowers withering
Ok with the ineffable trillions of microorganisms that live in the belly of a rough skinned newt
Ok to the new therapist's orange sofa—do they ever have better art?
Ok with never seeing him again but did he know he was the first?
Ok where 21 million chickens are eaten daily
Ok to no contemporary equivalent to The Beatles
Ok with the squeamish, halting ways we talk about poems
Ok within a network of basically indistinguishable permutations
Ok with indecipherable texts from my parents
Ok to the last button on his dress shirt too small for my thumb
Ok to no exact proportions
Ok with between ten and eleven vowel sounds and words like plinth
Ok having been circumcised for almost no reason
Ok shall we dance with strangers after we’ve had two more drinks?
Ok sleeping in the valley while the shepherd blows furiously his call
Ok with no songs and no songs of birds
Ok to worry
Ok with the rain filling my mouth and my ears
Ok with how are you and good night
Ok at the train station to the sounds of a lot of black umbrellas opening
Ok with these eyes and no others
Ok to not knowing who in the room is cruel and not worth your time
Ok with the hurt if it means I get to stay
Ok touching my lips to the little hairs on your earlobe in order to be heard
Ok with a souvenir replica
Ok saying it again if I need to
And Lyudmila Turns Back to Vasily to Say
How lucky to have these minds
and sex organs that jellyfish
for example lack.
Sometimes the world is poetry and only poetry.
Others it is poetry and consistent snowfall,
good for making balled-up poems glitter.
Take a walk with me in Austin, Texas
and maybe bite my neck in the way I like.
Wage a war with me
on impersonality and clothing beneath
an image of a crabapple tree.
Red may seem the moment because
reddish are the waters of the retention ditch
we'll slip the corpse of servile Beauty into.
As Vasily turned to Lyudmila
on the Pripyat Bridge
where they were watching
the reactor burn
on Chernobyl last night
he said, “Isn’t it beautiful?”
Whereas Hedgie says there is no equivalent
for the phrase “getting wet”
in the Korean language.
Let us you and me be incredibly decisive.
Let’s write another lyric poem in the middle
of the history of the United States of America.
Then let’s do something ugly to a billionaire.
New Mexico with the Ailing Father
I explained as best I could
The three swords at the feet of the figure
The desert was a vast, obvious queer
I had my secrets
Dad looked a little like Georgia O'Keeffe
We cried on one side of a king bed
I struggled to put into words my feelings about Los Alamos
We thought we understood red and brown and yellow
I was angry
He called the bartender amigo
He was on hormones
There was a whole house inside the gallery
A phoney newspaper on the kitchen table
Apparently, it was the season for miracles
On the crowded street outside the Santa Fe Cathedral
I drew the ninth trump, the hermit
Something about trying to match at every turn
The clean curves his skis left in the snow
His lantern is a six-pointed star
His cloak is a form of discretion
He will live for 47 years in an adobe on the moon
I am sure of it
In a kind of hood, I will take his place on Earth
And follow him inside the mountain
Max Seifert lives in Austin, Texas. His writing has previously been published by The Adroit Journal, b[OINK] Zine, Gulf Coast, and Tupelo Quarterly. He is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.