Two Poems from Want

Rusty Morrison


even when not engaged by             your intellect these symbols
speaking to themselves perform         so that the ineffable
power for which they work will         recognize itself when you

can only tense with access          denied you can’t hear zero
degree shifts between any             two close resting objects an
imaginal resistance       you try to perforate with

gestures like cleaning mirrors          in gas station restrooms so
few have them now and all your           reflections look more like what
sea churns up foam and cloud-face          an origin that wades past

death this is what Cézanne proved
that all contours will elude





who are you living for asks    refrigerator warble
as if it weren’t a death       rattle your fingers fidget
a strand of hair to make       misery conspicuous 

the quieter troublesome      is animate in any
next randomly opened page        of your getting-up-again
story these days will just bloom      for you dried-stick willfulness

called it reality when       you thought words weren’t just wreckage
receptacles you called on        the humanity in you
as if persons hadn’t a         uniquely apocalyptic

longing Barad says it takes          “rethinking agency to
appreciate how lively           even dead matter can be”
image seepage guaranteed           didn’t you have an honest

repulsion to promises
but diagnosed it as just