Two Poems by Mikko Harvey

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Safe in Its Shell

For a monkey to be sitting in a cave, on fire with a dream in his head like a battery, to be trying to hide from the cold refrigerator he lives in, to have a house with your name on it, a bed to make each morning, and you get to choose the color of the walls, you get to lie near another animal and fall asleep before her, as you are loved, and sometimes it is fair, this life in the refrigerator, this suburb where the cherry dads tell their cherry sons that this is what happens when you grow up, you get wrinkles, but they skip the part where some night some guy eats you, so you watch the sun rise with your friends, a door opens, the sun falls, a door closes and every so often, like looking down the hallway of an empty house in the afternoon, a certain chill finds you, and though you had the option of painting the walls any color you liked, you left them white, which reminds you that you live in a refrigerator, and you frown, but it passes and your brain still burns, safe in its shell, so hot you even dare to dream of a warmer world, to touch what you can’t see.

*ridgss

Leaps of Faith

and breasts like drops of rain
and fingers like wooden twigs
and hearts like slippery fish
and balls of feet like stone
and sex like a virus grows
and 77 Norwegians’ blood
and one man wrote a book
and another went to prison
and all the women kissed
each other for heroin
and a bottle opened
and the band picked up its set
and the heat kept jumping
like erections in khakis
and the couple hired a sitter
but in the motel TV glow
they knew the magic was gone
and back at home their son
snuck out the back door
and climbed a birch tree
and the branch snapped
and the boy fell headfirst
into the pile of leaves
his neighbor had raked
and they saved his life
and he ran to his room
and never told anyone
until years later he painted
a birch for his grandson
and the boy thanked him
and took the painting
to class for show and tell
where the children laughed
because the painting was plain
and the boy ran home
and ripped it to pieces
and with tears in his eyes
he looked out the window
and saw a bird staring back
from the edge of a branch
and the bird flew away
but by then an idea
had grown in his brain
and one day soon
he would climb that tree.

_______________________________________________

Mikko Harvey is a student at Vassar College. His poems appear in Juked, decomP, and PANK Magazine.

© 2013, Metazen.

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