Redressed

By KRISTA LEAHY

Cold beer, slippery hands, cigarettes no one (everyone) wanted,

smoke from our burning lungs summoning the night sky,

not-tying the horizon closed until even toothpick jokes

stopped propping our eyelids open and we blinked,

hands slipped, smoke ceased, not-knots loosed the day–

roof, streets, people, trees, all dressed in the bruise of first light.

 

Not sunrise, but sunbroke, sunbroken:  pale, blue, eyelid ache.

 

Tonight, let’s clasp hands, postpone sleep, try not to blink–

share a beer, trade smokes, tie earth to sky, imagine

tomorrow, unbruised, horizon, unbroken, our skin

stripped to our toothpick bones, hot ivory

cigarettes no one (everyone) wants.  Smoke stings

but don’t blink.  Brave the burn.  Burn the bruise.

 

Not sunrise, but sunskin, sunskinned:  fresh, red, flesh un-ache.

 

 

Krista Leahy’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, Raritan, Free Lunch, and elsewhere.

Redressed

Related Posts

A tree growing in a bucket. Twisted branches spiral upward from the large green basin the tree sits in. It's a sunny day in the woods.

Ugly Trees

HEATHER E. GOODMAN
We have a really ugly sugar maple in our front yard. Yard is a euphemism for dirt and weeds. Dirt is a euphemism for clay and rocks. Weeds is a euphemism for invasive species and exhaustion. But we love this ugly tree.

Signage in New York City at night. A lit vertical sign reads BROOKLYN, above a movie theater sign and a colorful sign for an ice cream parlor.

After Darkness, a Neighbor Turns the Lights On

HANNAH JANSEN
Not so much that the darkness disappears / but that after linked, round globes appear / on a humdrum weeknight under the trees, / I start noticing them everywhere, / glowing in their various iterations

A shattered porcelain shard of a city drawing laid on a white background.

How Memory Works

TIM TIM CHENG
We see the newspaper for tomorrow, not tomorrow / It’s already midnight. Today that is. News that stays / warm and inky on our fingertips at 2:30 am.