I am tired of drinking the sapphire cough syrup and also I am tired of coughing.
In the night in the dark I reach for a small glass of water at my bedside and fumble it to the floor. There are shards. It was empty of water. I tell the person in my bed to be careful in the morning, to wear socks.
My syrup dreams of women I know, and we wear nothing and we search for the liquor cabinet that cannot be found. We take turns lying in the lawn. We take turns being lifted from the lawn by each other’s desire, by unseen gusts of want.
In the morning, these words in my head: there is no side-of-the-road in air traffic.
I can’t make sense. I wake up alone. I wonder about the socks. How they made it so easy to slip out muffled, without my waking. How my body could be lifted, even now.
The info part of the infomercial
is that your want doesn’t even
know its own name.
Call now and someone will answer
your beckon, will breathe into
the receiver, receive you.
This limited time, offered exclusively
to those who remember being
forgotten in a department store.
Or hiding in the racks, wanting only
to be found and held, wanting only
to terrify your way into her arms.
You don’t have to unhome anymore.
Acquisition is yours. There is nothing
What is shipped and handled is worth
the cost of deliverance, of doormat,
waiting for no one but you.
Exit Ramp Roadkill
Rust belt, bible belt, coal dismay
burns to turn machine gears slow.
Blacktop betraying state lines
in pockmarks spelling out
To get to wildlife you cut
through counties that call it game.
The highway patrol was a sheriff
and two deputies, but they
met quotas. Walked right up
to the ledge of power and kicked
rocks over the edge to watch them fall.
Every dynamite hill
wearing a nation’s name,
Every empty tunnel
a dead white general.
Alicia Mountain is the author of the collection High Ground Coward (University of Iowa Press), which won the Iowa Poetry Prize, and the chapbook Thin Fire (BOAAT Press). She is a lesbian poet, a PhD student, and an assistant editor of the Denver Quarterly. Keep up with her at www.aliciamountain.com and @HiGroundCoward.