In the mornings, I wake to watch white dogs—
leashed with ribbons of dew—hide behind buildings.
Above me, the gutters are filled with hyacinths
& I can hear the roofs whispering about our health
Turning towards the sun, I try to picture your hair
& the pearls you’ve threaded through each strand.
At my side, the white dogs sit, panting. All at once
we collapse in the grass—our eyes closed, & throbbing.
Last night she appeared in the bathtub, repeating
the phrase “I’ve been on chemistry—& so often close
to you.” She held out a dappled rose & only then
did you notice the condensation forming on her tongue.
Facing the mirror, she renounced her belief in plagiarism,
& you, with the flower’s stem, wrote down her words:
“You get exactly this: the bed, the nightstand, a dresser—
nothing more than the ache in my ribs—nothing more
than an archive of smoke & flickering reactions.”
“this, she declared, is undoubtedly your dream”
Last October, I wandered through a bronze hotel.
Red letters assumed strange proportions
in the air around me, & my lips—which you held
in your palms at the top of the stairwell—were raw.
Silently, you slipped them into your pocket.
Now, the gestures repeat. Gliding through the hall
I find your eyes on display, sculpted out of alabaster
& gleaming like hurricanes caught in your skull.
At the end of your breath, I discover pink lilacs
& slowly, I adopt an expression I’ve never worn.
Conley Lowrance began writing poetry after an aborted career in punk rock. His interest in lyrics and subculture literature eventually led him to the University of Virginia’s poetry writing program where he received his BA in 2012. His poems have appeared in publications put out by Tupelo Press, Gadfly, Counterexample Poetics, Word Riot, and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, among others. Currently, he is exploring the intersection of Surrealist poetry and detective fiction and working at Columbia University’s Heyman Center for the Humanities.
Featured Image photograph by E.B. Bartels, www.ebbartels.com.