where the use of cannon is impractical :: lisa olstein

Stranger, mislaid love, I will
sleepwalk all night not girlish
but zombie-like, zombie-lite
through the streets in search of
your arms. Let’s meet at dawn
in the park to practice an ancient art
while people roll by in the latest
space-age gear blank as mirrors
above the procedure in the stainless
steel theaters where paper-gowned
we take ourselves to take ourselves
apart. Tap-tap-spark. So little blazes.
Cover the roofs with precision hooves.
Push back the forest like a blanket.
A bird the right color is invisible,
only movement catches the eye.
My most illustrious Lord, I know
how to remove water from moats
and how to make an infinite number
of bridges. Here we are at the palace.
Here we are in the dark, dark woods.

in the meantime :: lisa olstein

What seemed a mystery was
in fact a choice. Insert bird for sorrow.

What seemed a memory was in fact
a dividing line. Insert bird for wind.

Insert wind for departure when everyone is
standing still. Insert three mountains

burning and in three valleys a signal seer
seeing a distant light and a signal bearer

sprinting to a far-off bell. What seemed
a promise was in fact a sigh.

What seemed a hot wind, a not quite enough,
a forgive me, it has flown away, is in fact.

In the meantime we paint the floors
red. We stroke the sound of certain names

into a fine floss that drifts across our teeth.
We stay in the room we share and listen

all night to what drifts through the window—
dog growl, owl call, a fleet of mosquitoes

setting sail, and down the road,
the swish of tomorrow’s donkey-threshed grain.