Cathexis Northwest Press

© 2018 

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Blason; but hardly lovers; Conversation with the ride operator at the Screaming Eagle


There has never been a woman like her, 
hair so black obsidian conspires 
with the janitor’s bucket of bleach 
to reinvent itself as opal, if only 
to avoid vain comparison.


There have never been eyes like hers,  
so deep all the wishes thrown in them  
still tumble past millionaires in submarines, 
with tears that could flood the well of Urd 
and drown the jealous Norns on its banks.


There has never been a smile like hers, 
that sneaks past sclera and retina 
to dance upon the hippocampus 
or to the vagus nerve to induce 
the vertigo that some men call love.


There have never been lips like hers, 
that lip balm only touches to soothe 
its own chapped existence, that inspire 
bottles to increase viscosity 
in favor of a prolonged kiss. 


There have never been breasts like hers 
that chastely laugh at Everest; 
whose angle and repose would leave 
Edmund and Tenzing shivering 
in the base camp, necks broke from looking up.


There have never been hands like hers, 
that destroy a city with a wave, 
that need no gloves in winter to keep warm 
because a thousand rough palms 
offer their have in return for hold. 


There have never been legs like hers, 
that dangled off a pier could save all the sea’s drowned, 
were they not ever out of reach; 
that could bring Moses down off his mountain 
to pray to golden calves. 

but hardly lovers


He said 'sh' with one h and she used four –
the close thighs of ski pants versus
the slow drag of a box across shag –
but he told his friends she told him
to shut up. They went together
like meager and rations while they rumbled
for double. Like hair and lice
with only the occasional pubic.
Like long and lost

Conversation with the ride operator at the Screaming Eagle

Pith I never claimed.
Temerity I did once grasp
in my hands, a baby bee
which stung and with a yelp
I shook it free.
Audacity demanded
a fiery roar but from me
it was a sweet, soft hum
less vomited from lungs
weak from soft couches
than gently let out to play.
Spontaneity I mulled over
and decided against.
I am but the pale fundament
of a human sentence;
aporia in practice,
the frail reed of a metaphor
read in a teen novel;
I am you rhymed with do
and rhymed with you again.
To name me epigon
is too lofty of praise;
I cannot be seen
in the umbra of the great.
Yet with this bounty of mediocrity
from which to pick and choose
you insult my physique? I –
God’s worst written character,
inchoate creation,
defined by blank spaces
not virtues or flaws –
am excluded on account
“Must be this tall to ride”?

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Davis Einolf is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars program and his poetry has been published in Chaleur Magazine. He lives in Portland, Oregon.