Two Poems by James Duncan

Monday, February 6, 2012

burn baby, burn

last night at the disco—

i arrived, a bare skeleton already
with mirror balls where my eyes
had been, just earlier

you should have seen them burn, empty blue wells

i found you nestled in a corner of
the ceiling, dead already also

and you said you felt embarrassed about our
matching costumes, bones rattling

remember how we scraped the skin from the edge of the bathroom sink
and tucked ourselves into it

it felt wet and warm against our bones
because it was wet and warm against our bones

remember how we set fire to the building with the
dance floor and the people and the city still inside it

can we do that again

my car is parked outside, let’s get ice cream and drive to the ocean after

Before Sunset—

you sit inside a bus
and light from the sun
reflects off it

first as ribs against the sides
of mountains

then broken and spread out across
the bare trunks of trees

in a text message you say I have a
dark wit, like I am the kind of person
who might just kill himself at any moment

‘just because’


you say it makes you worry about me sometimes
you say it’s also what makes you want me

you also tell me the things I wrote about before that

when the bus stops to refuel
you imagine the biggest heart that could fit
inside its luggage compartment

how much blood it could pump
how many people you would have to kill to make it work
how difficult it would be to hide

you remember how I said I feel anxiety as a tingling across my wrists
like the bones want to come out

you imagine being tethered to something by fishing line
tied to your belly button piercing

and the mix of excitement and pain you feel before seeing me
after not seeing me


James Duncan lives in Sydney, Australia. He is sitting on the floor in front of the tv that isn’t on.

© 2012, Metazen.

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