Dillon J. Welch

Poem in Which We Are Built from the Wrong Parts

And sturdy sways the porch
swing as we come in crooked
and drenched from rain. We curse
on a fallen pack of bundled post
and suddenly I don’t feel as sure
as sure can take someone the distance
of a tossed mallet. I built a tower
above my collar. I fit a practiced
choir in the spiral stairwell. I am
not sorry. Everyone is always
but not always and
usually arguing over everything
in a mathematical way, which is
not very modern
or proper in a vacant waiting room.
We have surpassed
the supposed utility of a tool belt,
the foundation of a home not built
next door, construction
halted, the workers
all lazy and pathetic and pouring
coffee-water into paper cups.
Even the mud is muddied. How we hear
something on a work site radio and stare
at the point where drywall
meets more drywall and think this
is where it ends, pointing
at the ending and personifying
in spades. We are not
so German in our approach
to each spot where a window will go.
That is to say we are not speaking
to each other in a language
so direct from the earth that it sounds
an alarm that has fallen from the mantle
where it goes off and off until it doesn’t.

Poem in Which Things Happen Much Too Soon

Sometimes I fear the worst
feelings are the unruffled tissues,
just as kissing the long mouth
of a muffler is mostly
uncouth. What lazy winged
insect did you follow
while I led the Campaign For Higher Learning
In Suspect Restrooms? Too busy heating pasta
in the microwave and feeling
like an idiot. Or the time beside
the gilded boat, you thought the phrase
was PLAY IT BY YEAR. In a way
we’re all familiar with the fixed
length of shower curtains. With the first
laugh after The Year Of Basement
Sobbing. Like experimental
surgery and the consequences
therein. O fragile theremin of the office
hallway! Sing me to pallets
left in the alley! Lives outliving
original purpose. Otherwise known as
the Unfolding Atlas. Rickets
in the marrow, or locusts
in the wheat crop. Every moment
standing unsure in front
of a fridge. The ingenious
stitching in our fiber
t-shirts. Which is why
we never forget how to kiss
the brittle starfish. How to hush
a headlamp at just the right moment

Dillon J. Welch is an MFA candidate in Poetry at NYU. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in CutBank, inter|rupture, Jellyfish, Phantom Limb, Pinwheel and other journals. He is currently Editor of AMRI and Poetry Editor of Swarm. Find him at www.dillonjwelch.com


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