In current weather conditions,
this content is only
available to subscribers.

One can wait for the weather to change —
or subscribe now for instant access.

Subscribe Log in

Twelfth Night

Ariana Reines

I saw the moon waning over the bridge

The fat moon was waning over the bridge
The moon was hanging over the lighted bridge

The moon was waning over the bridge
I saw the moon waning over the bridge
I saw the moon waning over the bridge

My heart

I saw the fat moon waning over the bridge
I saw it rock back like a cradle
I saw it rock back like an empty nut shell

The moon was waning over the bridge when I saw it
What I saw when I saw it rock back like a cradle
What I saw when I saw it fall open like a cored fruit



What I saw
Clutching my black crystal claw
My intergalactic claw
My most recent thing

Then we went together
To Gibraltar
I saw it slanting out of me

You fell asleep with your laptop on your belly
While I was put into a car with a woman called Therese
We rode over the icy fields
Glassy green like the innards of a computer






If I lose my power
If I lose my power
If I lose my power
If I lose my head
Now that the prong is sticking me
The money prong
Being lost among the people sweating at the mouth of the port
It is my fault I got erupted
It was my responsibility
Grey black and green garbage bags stuffed I wished with leaves
A tender filament of woodgrass
When I lay on the boulder I heard a woodpecker
I remember when you cried at Christmas
I remember when you said you loved me so much





You will say
And I will say
The waving wheat
Smelled sweet
You will say what does the moon mean
Anybody can look it up
Meaning it is more a matter of choosing how to mean what we see
So purposefully when it is time I was swept away
The moon looked exactly like heartache to me
A fat heart gulping down its own pebbles and keys






You make me so happy
How can I write it down
Your eyelashes are like brushes








I have to line up my lazy eye
With a narrow arrow
This spirit is easily scared away
Bleached asphalt like a wick in the office park
I am afraid the spirits will fly out of my head
They will drool from my mouth in oil-black declamations
When the trees shake and when my hair shakes
When the sweat pools in the seam of my spine
When I decline
When I look in your eyes
Like a giant black boar, ice shagged in her hair
The ancient choir of fuck squirrels says Ah
The dark furred things put the fingers of their grey nimble hands upon the carbuncle
Upon the jewel
The apple of my eye
It is our right
We hunt at night
Our black eyes shine
Our rough tongues keep us clean




Cream fell in clots out of me
There went my health
The moon was listing to one side
I pictured somebody driving a car
A life through a window to petrify me







When you are looking at me
It really means something to me
Although I am in default
There is a crowd of pigeons murmuring
They are cooing in the airshaft like doves
Chrome sky slick against the world
Etched by the fire that is willing to kill me it said
But only slowly but only slowly but only
Every once in a while when it lets me sleep








a dip in the mouth
a water
a lint
a glass of water
a dip in the mouth
a soft pull
it is like a sigh
my sight

warm in the middle
when you put it in the middle
where you put it
we could be putting a small sleep
we could be putting a small sleep into it
a drive to a place could be put into it
we could have put a small secret into it
into the sleep stall
which is an ash wood culvert
which is a drum made of copper
which is a drum filled with oil

Horse come to charge my life
Fat tooth ripped out when you gnaw the iced rocks
Whose house is this
In the mouth of the dead cataract
The smoking chimneys at the refinery
I know they are my responsibility
The telephone towers when we are looking at the sky waiting to be taken alone
All those furniture stores filled with despair






It was like green frozen places
Snow on motherboards
It was snowing but it was sunny
The sun through the windshield flocked
With salt and watermarks
When the sun is moving through the shadows that are passing
I met a woman called Therese
She was a Jew in the Continental style
She was melancholy, poised, and closed
Like a pearl on a bed in a box






Unbudgeted sweet endlesslessness unjealous perfection
I could smell the black earth I could put it in my hands
I could eat the apple of my eye








Twelfth Night

The dog
lifts its leg
and pisses on the doorframe


My mistress will see you now.



I saw her once
In a strip mall
On a patio
In a slimming foundation garment
It felt colonial
It felt abandoned
She was heating a frozen dinner
Her movements exquisitely refined
A woman who had been so neglected
I was scared to gaze upon her softness
Like the gentleness of everyone not made
Cruel for being unloved
It is like the twisting of a dove
It is when the bird flutters at the back of your throat
It is very very sensitive



Belly split down the middle like a busted fig
No moon
No night
No night saw
Unbelievable hunger
When you have to drink the medicine raw
When a green gas curdles your guts
But at least it grants you total surrender
Unlike love for example





In Leogane I get hit by a truck
I can’t tell you about it
It depresses the back of my tongue
And stiffens there to make me puke
The sun like raw yolk under which I’d like to finally get off my knees
Like a shaded green room from which trees are visible
An empty green room in the emperor’s house
In the emperor’s house which is like a hospital
Which is a magic chapel
Which is a secret place
For a year they have been building the road alongside it
A person can go there




Raphaella said
I think to be a poet is a very beautiful thing
Because a poet wants to be right but does not want to win
And that is a very strange thing
That is a strange and beautiful thing






It is like a brick in my guts
When I am always the maid of the house
When I live on the floor in the kitchen
And I have to talk to the terrible lady who rules the kitchen
And I have to keep her iron candlesticks
And I have to light the black candles to calm her
And I have to be the one to talk to her
Me, it has to be me
And when I do it while I am doing it I can always handle it
But always after and always before the memory of her
The anticipation of her is like a lead
And my heart shudders with dread
And I am made dowdy by my exhausting work
And I get used to sleeping on the floor
The blue slate receives my cheek
Like a cool mastaba on a silver pool
And I have been pressing down on my heart for so long
That it is now rectangular
A large gold bar
A brick of Algerian hash




Have you ever been a fool
I cannot describe my love
Have you ever been a fool been a fool been a fool
Have you ever ridden in a taxi
Have you ever stood and ordered a coffee
Have you ever seen a tree fall against another
Have you seen the trees shining in mediocre night
Have you ever seen a river of garbage
Have you ever seen a ravine
A ravine filled with the things of man
Have you ever seen a purple palm at the end of the day
I had to pass through all these severed chambers
I was repeating the words all the way through
They got me through
They got me through
But when I was out it was no longer possible to see their power
And anyway when I was out I forgot them
But sometimes the heavy feeling comes the sinking feeling
I have to go through again
If I could get to the grove of white birches
To be like a secret bird
Semen and boullion, my face full of pussy and chapped metallic lips
Tongue fat with use
And then to have to go again to that country
And again to that country and again
Have you ever been a fool?
Have you ever been a fool?
Maybe I will talk to you
I cannot describe my love