HOARSE

Singing when you’re not supposed to is only brave
into a rifle. Not in a hippie basement with a red toggle
for hot water. Maybe if you’re lucky your doctor is
impatient and shuffles you sizzurp without double checking
stories. Someone said the silent Mike is entertaining
for once. Instead of, like, for one. Boston, I hate you.
Stories, you teeter. Broth, let me guess. I can’t even
begin to tell you how much I’ve skipped in favor
of shivering. Singing when you’re not supposed to
is how I’ve handled a lot of crosswalks. If only you knew
how many of you I inflated when you thought I was
ignoring you. There’s a reason I answer when my thing says
invisible, and the reason is there are only so many replays
of Dale Earnhardt Jr. winning the 2001 Pepsi 400 a guy
can watch alone by himself with a towel and a crockpot
of steam before he sees the video is not exactly facing me.


UNOFFICIAL EVERYDAY RESCUE

Suddenly, the wind is predictable.
Stubs of sidewalk chalk go scattering
into a reprint of your trig homework.
What can I say—love it when we feel
it out. Welcome cassava leaves.
Shuffling through the world’s baseball cards.
Welcome to the shower curtain because
it has a map on it, and I like maps
on my shower curtains. You go between
a moment and the contrails. Bats go bouncing
every wall. Laughing, one friend says, “No,
these things are all true.” Welcome to one night
you walk with the drenched moon instead of in
and out of it. We all have our part to play
in the quinoa worm apocalypse. Love in
the paper of record. At least one beach
that hasn’t left because it’s still going.
Bird shapes that never get made
because they keep making them.
Mouth full of tiny balloons filled
with balloons. Blind writing flared up
by night writing to avoid enemy fire.
Don’t tell me you love them: go tell them
you love them. Don’t tell them you love them:
go love then you love them.

Photo by WalterPro4755

Mike Young

MIKE YOUNG is the author of Sprezzatura, Look! Look! Feathers, and We Are All Good If They Try Hard Enough, which was selected by readers of The Believer as one of the Top 20 Poetry Books of 2010. In 2015, Black Cake Records released his first album Imagine a Fire You Can Wear as a Coat. Young publishes the free online/print literary magazine NOÖ Journal, runs Magic Helicopter Press, and lives online at http://mikeayoung.tumblr.com.

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