Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mike Oliphant - Two Poems

Counting the Crows

The sun has a pulse—it has
a heartbeat so burdened
by the eventual end it brings
to the whole human race.

As I climb into my sun-baked car
after five, I feel its remorse
that each hydrogen burst
must bring us closer & closer.

But it’s not until I’m stuck
swaying in traffic on my way home
that I know how to hurt
with every stark breath.

How, with so little resolve
& so much regret,
all the dogs are taken out back
and shot in the head.

How, once the glass breaks
for emergency’s sake,
there’s more than repair
hung from the axe & its weight.

How putting a face to a name
to a creature of patience
erects new towers of Babel
to be struck from existence.

How the revolution
will not be shown
because nobody asks,
so nobody knows.

How it all starts with someone
counting the crows.

How, late last August,
the sun’s guilty pulse
led us first to the river
then back to our tent

to strip off our clothes.

How, as we both held our tongues,
I turned from your beauty
& started to run.

After He Left

We did not tear
the moss between the stones
nor the ice floes off the coast.
We let him rot, to remember

the rumble grumble
of his gut. The locomotive strut
that knew nothing of whim.
No, he never stumbled, never

grinned. Yet hunger
lingered somewhere behind
those sightless specs,
those fingers thick with their success.

Burrowed deep beneath
his furrowed brow
where desire rests:
our information warehouse

breaking down the spare parts
he took from everything.
Ballooned above us, he could not see
that despite his roiling glare

he was all we had to read.

A senior at Allegheny College, Mike Oliphant is an English major with a focus on creative writing. He does marketing work and copy writing and writes poetry in his spare time. His work has previously appeared in Every Day Poets

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