Once or Twice

Max Schleicher

Tough world out there, kiddo. But you don’t need
to tell me twice. I pick up the city night,
it severs my hands—a star chart of nerves
shines from my wrists. I glean synecdoche
from violent acts. The way shot shell swerves
like the clutch and expansion of bird flight.
A wound is imitative form. It is learned.

Tough world out there. Trees scream. Winds confess.
Modernity ends believing everything happens.
The disappeared are named on my lungs’ microfiche.
And yet all these years, you’ll never tell me your wish.
Who wouldn’t admit worse if they were pressed?
Landscapes are shot and a flight of wounds expands.
Aim here: I’d believe anything you told me once.