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Three Poems by Noam Hessler

Passing Law

5 mph 50 miles to anchorage, commute /
tainted eyes running toxic / fat
caterpillar, / Grub Trucker, / frito-lay logo
blaring yellow / white winter
dandruff off the stern and onto my ford. / deer
burst open like microwaved
potstickers / flattened by snow, / let thirty iced
and iced-out bodies /
, feet blackened to horn /ziptie me, cut me up
/ macgyver my drippings / to
oil / I’m sitting useless / me beneath me going
dry on fuel / left merge then speed
through the incoming lane then / slide then /
slow then / right merge,
back again. / Grub, we’ll play this game / til
you slam your brakes on
black ice / , or some bright and vivid eyes go
speeding southbound / down my throat.

Crawl Through Rome

The quickening comes first: me and Him light as anchors / sailing adrift through winding streets a parade / royal / our attendants pickpockets and the honking of a train becoming some gigantic goose with / feathers bursting from between cars / little people hooked into it like / tapeworms, no fowl we would eat / we do not eat fowl / just ambrosia / and we stop in at a club named for a rare sort of mushroom that spawns ruby droplets on its damp hide / when the rains come in and it become so full it almost bursts / we burst through the door, see old friends again and / now we’re talking with Harry, fancies himself an expat — he’s not an expat — / working on something modernist in 2021 / so sad / too late, we tell him / and he scowls but Harry’s so great anyhow / got a bloody nose two blocks ago so not the time / not worth it / isn’t it all pretty: / look out at the rancorous pour of water; / listen to the bright shine of sunlight; / hear that sound of deer walking through the alleyways / some great mutant of an elk, ogre / no hair, hunched / old man / tinker / laughing eyes little crinkles, antlers like forks / holding up a great array of geegaws / what to buy, I ask Him / and He goes for the bobbleheads with the intensity of a tiger / plastic dwarf with the flag of Italy on his shirt and / We have been here, We will be in Cyprus / and then Lebanon / and then home / somewhere / slinking through the catacombs on our bellies, drinking saltwater.

Skinnydipping

It’s 11:46 pm / and I am soaking the cuffs of my jeans in the running water of the bathroom sink. / They are streaked with / beachmud, / smeared with loam / from when I tried to jam my feet back in / so fast. / The stains remain and / I rub a bar of soap into them / like I’m grating a carrot, making salad, / my head throbs / but this shall pass, / and these jeans are like my hands, / they are my flesh / and like them my flesh ought to be stripped away and cleansed / in some river colonized by sharp shatters of zebra mussels. / I was in a hurry to dress as I got in His car / and now I am alone. / This too shall pass. / Gods shall die and the red sun shall pass below the mountains / and make its nest in some solitary cave, / displacing a hermit with a torso like a bifurcated tree trunk / who will go out to feed on / and descale a trout by the speeding eddies / of a brook cut into some ravine. / He will tear the flesh from it with gnashing incisors and he will die along with it and the sun will not come back to the sky and it will slumber. / It’s 11:55 / and I am washing my feet in the tub and watching / as little shards of grass weave out from between my toes.

Noam Hessler

Twitter: @poetryaccnt1518

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