Author: Alex Lemon

Alex Lemon is the author of Mosquito (Tin House Books), Hallelujah Blackout (Milkweed Editions), Fancy Beasts (Milkweed Editions) and Happy: A Memoir (Scribner). His writing has appeared in Esquire, Best American Poetry 2008, Satellite Convulsions, Tin House, AGNI, The Southern Review and jubilat, among others. Among his awards are a 2005 Literature Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2006 Minnesota Arts Board Grant. He lives in Ft. Worth, Texas and and teaches at Texas Christian University.

There’s So Little to Do in a Hospital Bed & Tick Tick Tick & More Wind

There’s So Little to Do in a Hospital Bed

Although tiredness whirls
All the while the hive

Of my head shines with love.
Inside my chest, umbrellas

Open warmly—the last
Vacancy where I might

Get it right. My under
Thighs have stopped

Bleeding. Even though
My skin has God’s stamp

Of approval—USDA Choice
Fear comes & the sheets

Look lightning-struck.
Someone keeps panning

For gold in the toilet. Leaving
The water on. Water is running

Out. The midnight-caller screams
Anyone that sweets & sweats. If you

Don’t know, now you know! It is time
To get a gun & a harem of lawyers.

The pipes are clogged & I’m going
To wear suit sewn from chicken livers

For Halloween if I can make it
Outside by October. My nephews love

Me just as much as French fries.
Damn, it’s great to be alive!

It is it is. Although, it’s supposed to
Keep raining, I could take you places.

Fish sandwiches. Perpetual foot rubs.
The ark is all patched up & night is only

An ever-looming coat of darkness.
Fine, I guess it’s time to close this shit

Down. With this grease, I now
Pronounce everyone swine.

Tick Tick Tick

The most troubling thing is everything. It’s all happening
At the same time. Interpreting dreams while watching Let’s Make
A Deal
. Eating tofurkey & Cherry Garcia while practicing
Yoga. Happy Baby. Down Dog. The temperature drops
Sixty degrees in ten minutes. Stop signs wobble, wobble,
& then everyone is outside watching the meteor shower.
It is so contemporary of us to feel the sky pressing
Down. Copernicus was an impossible dullard & Darwin
Didn’t even grind up the finch beaks before he smoked
Them. It is far too easy to get stuck, circling the roundabout
Thinking about the reality show you wished you starred in.
The first & final season of Let’s Make A Baby. The time
Has come to triumph over the oppression of our
Zippers. My finger is on the button of a machine
I’ve never seen before. Night sounds like an ice cube
Dropped into a hot bath. We could warn each other
About the coming wind chill advisory. Tomorrow’s slick roads.
It’s so discouraging. Today, I ran the microwave
With nothing in it just to see it catch fire. The purple-
Lipped days are upon us but don’t dwell on it for much
Longer than it takes to assemble the washable nativity set.
We all have a better place to be, right? My appointment
Started ten minutes ago. I slept through the alarm
& then the rest of my life. & to top it off,
Grandma died eating my dog.

More Wind

I watch the beautiful
Charity of a body peeling,

The heart floating
In a bathtub for hours

Before sinking to the reddy
Bottom. Sing, I love you

Like the seasalty kiss
Of death
while toweling

Off & my finger will rap
The window glass. I swear

My intentions are pure—
But damn—those bags

Under your eyes are
Dynamite. What kind

Of hotness are you smuggling

In there? I’m too brittle
For Twister, so come on,

Let’s play spin the neuroses.
I swear there won’t be any tie ‘em

Up & spank spank. Not one
Second of Boggle, I promise.

Out here it’s the land of the free.
Home of the craven.

Come out, come out—
Show me what you can

Do with a dozen skunks
Nailed to a dead man.