Elizabeth Kate Switaj

Nights That Donít Cool Down


†† Trains shouldíve stopped

†††††††††† hours ago when sun

melted cement pillars

†††††††††††††† but somehow tracks stayed straight


and the rattle breaks

anything I leave in my open window--

empty peanut butter jars, flowers,

my eyes-- hours after sun

still brought down

††††††††††††††† any cars or skin leaving shade


We all shed like lizards now

†††††††††††††††††††† and never againlike Nagasaki, Hiroshima

†††††† Shirts I bought at those museums

†††††† burned into my skin

Pull down the blinds

Drink some coffee

Wait until it all ends







Bleeding Again


Tonight I only want wings

†††††††† to break the backmy back

†††††††† between the shouldersmy shoulders--

leather black, feathers of any shade

†††† or colors, simple bones

†††††††††††††††††††††† Doesnít matter


††††††††††††††††† Tonight I only want something to show

†††††††††††† for pain

†††††††††††††††††† and must breathe deep to remember

†††††††††††††††††††††† my body has more than an abdomen


I donít care if I can never fly

††† Tonight I only want your warm arms

†††† and the hands that held me down

††††††††† to hold my cramps down

††† I donít care if you canít love me


just your arms

and no guilt


††† Tonight I only want

†††††††††††††††††††††† to forget

†††††††††††††††††††††† I mean to sleep


Scarletís Lughnasadh 2006

So far from Equinox
††† and Iím already warning you
†††††††††††††† keep watch
††††††††††††††††††††††††† maple ginkgo every day

††††††††††† ††††††††††††††and youíll no longer dream
†††††††††††††††††††††††††† they burn
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† overnight
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† yellow red

Bearable Brightness of . . .

I guess I could only be happy
††††† when I cross bridge
want to climb long white
†††††† No your cock was no Tower
†††† of Ivory . . . House of Gold
want to climb the Empire State
building until its lit peak
burns me whatever colorís this week

You talked me into Brooklyn
and live in thatother borough

But God you know
I just canít sleep

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