Two Poems


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the way flesh swarms like ants the stuttering thumps embedded
like morse in our bones forever a history of fingers glistening
like butter the way memory is sort of a stain
in the cloth

like grease or like blood forever there you are unbleached
how you let them touch you forever your breasts fleshed guppyfish
eyes straining toward opposite points in the air forever the arch
of your skin

and the slip of a fisted hand tanned like leather forever the wormy
brown nylon of twisted rug the way it holds the imprint
of swarmed bodies forever the muscle of thighs
the baby

soft skin of the wolves forever the circling throb of impatience
the impermanence of movement the impermanence of face
of the bodies of ten white socked men forever the clutch
like a balled baby

fist forever the way you pressed your self down into the love
ly brown floor forever how your face bleeds forever into the white
round white lights

forever how I wondered if anyone would ever love
you how I wondered how
you would make them



This is my list. My list
is a pointed sphere grown autumnal

in the dusk light. In the dusk light,
the bird cry cracks open, screams

out a name to the clappering
sound of horses hooved deep

on the shoreline. On the shoreline,
the riders are cradling shadows in

the stuttering waves. The stuttering waves
outline the bodies; the horses collapse,

out numbered in the dusk light.

In the dusk light, I number my list.
The numbers are canyons of thread,

spun round my thumb, an anchor
of cold. Cold, the mules all flop sideward,

bellies frosted in pitch, white hide
frozen beneath the anchor of sky,

cast black. I number my list, my thumb
grips the deathbed, I thread all my words

through the canyon; an invisible sigh
from the mouth of a mule. The mouth of a mule

gapes sideward, gasping for air from the night.

On side of each number, I spell out
each name. Each name on my list

groaning forward, emptied out from the dawn
in the wake of the night. In the wake of the night,

the foxes are torn from their death
beds, shorn out from the furrows
of bottomless plains. The anchor of sky
casting red on the plains is an outline of bodies.

The foxes turn southward, paws cradling dirt
in the mouth of a cave. In the mouth of a cave,

I cradle my list, I call out the names in the dawn light.

This is my list. My list is an anchored bullet
grown heavy in the sun light. In the sun light,

the lizards crawl backward, bellies bursting
from heat, and from the weight of the air.

I cradle your name; I give it a number; I cross
all the words that escape from the air. From the air,

plains are emptied, the riders are shadows,
the outlines of bodies are blind in the sun

light. In the sun light, I capture your name,
I cradle the bodies, the air. Plains

emptied, the bodies crawl backward



Andrea Kneeland's first collection of short stories, Damage Control, is forthcoming from Paper Hero Press this year as part of the Fox Force 5 chapbook collective. Her second collection, the Birds & the Beasts, will be published by COW HEAVY next year. Her stories and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Letters & Commentary, Annalemma, Barrelhouse, Pank, Alice Blue, DIAGRAM, 580 Split, The Collagist, Quick Fiction, NOO and Caketrain, among many others. She is a web editor for Hobart.