They’re Back


saying dirt is bad


beneath the nails

grimed into the skin


the dog hits the same note all night

begging for the maul


the other dog comes up short

at the driveway’s lip


goddamn electric fence


speak dog speak









In the end every thing is loveable.

Every thought a notion, a sinkhole

inching toward a house wrapped in vinyl

that won’t expand when exposed. Who’s liable

when the paint slides—a corpseground for lizards

& worms, a.k.a. asphalt, a.k.a. roads.

No barrier will save them, or the birds.

Stroke the days when houses were made of bricks & boards,

of sterner stuff. Who comes to bury the pocket

of earth removed from the earth. Who gives the ticket.

A woman elbows past on the sidewalk so white

the sun hurtles off—you think of a rocket,

of catching her elbows to guide them beside her head

unless, of course, she prefers knees instead.

I Wanted To Be Good


but the price was blue

and the house was wet


the couch was cream

the dishes were velvet


the desk was dying

a sweet summer death


the ankle was taped

the barre was hot


the mail was late

the walk was cracked


the meal complete

we wore earrings to bed

Down the Stairs


What splatters here

a weekly instead of

with movement & beam

in tune to & beside

al fresco plot with yawn

your migraine pingpong ball

futon fucking anus

undone by the storm door

all the wood asloping

the destroyed picks itself

last in the line-up




Brian Henry's
most recent book of poetry is Quarantine (Ahsahta, 2006). His fifth book, The Stripping Point, will appear from Counterpath Press in 2007. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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