Two Poems by David Hanlon

IceFloe Press

Adult, Unborn

My body, my mind churn:
cauldron of night,
holes punched
where stars should be.
If I’m being honest with myself,
I’m never okay.

Chaos— I know well,
friend turned lover

wringing out
survival my skin, wrung
until I shrivel
into the curl of a November leaf,
to an embryonic state:
enwombing my world.

I grip this life’s lining,
a child grasping
the bottom of his mother’s floating dress,
hands busy,
just out of reach.

Home, Arrested

Walls—bare winter trees;
ceiling, slanted—overhead landslide;
tan wardrobe, ivory chest-of
open doors, open drawers—
beseeching garments.
I’ve occupied
this attic bedroom for three weeks:
left boxes, unemptied;
picture frames, stacked;
bedside tables—a cluttered bric-a-brac,
spreading plague.

In school, I learned to live

on peripheries.
For any movement or inflection change
I might stand trial,
whipped before the verdict.
Always, I pled guilty,
scrutinized and
fixed my expressiveness into rigidity—a statue—

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