Two Poems: American Travelogue & Life Drawing

Caroline Crew


You see the flower's form leak into itself. A self.
Some things in America still make sense.

I open my junk mail, Disney red. Your family.
Liquid uttered out into the night freezes

your dreams undone. Veracity leaves its whispers.
Make an orchestra instead. Every bitten breath

on the bus—the way to look forward & slant
down to avoid catching a cleavage stare—

put to use. Another reason to finally get a bike
beyond canal paintings. A blurred sky, of course.

When you talk about genius, you try to put
your loneliness in a glitter frame.

Zoom out. The shelf stays empty. The shelf
is an airport & that makes sense, that makes sense.


A fur undone and I want it
to hang on the shoulders
of the most winning man.
Yesterday was the birthday
of a man who said "it's harder
to write a love poem than
a rape poem." How many
balloons do I owe?
When I have breath
I waste it. When I have
a cold heart, I have not
kept a man warm.
Boxing is older than
the tulips on the table
and most of my anger.
We all drew shapes of men
in our first art class:
haunches, tendon, fist.
I watch a prizefight to
understand masculinity
and feel sad that there
are no horses, your war
has no horses, your sad war,
your sad fists flailing,
because it's true, a horse
is more noble when it goes down
slack jawed & limp.