Ansley Clark

*

FAILED SEARCH PARTY

To replace absence with noise
is one kind of failure

like forcing one’s flushed
cheek on another’s.

The irresistible swaying breath.

Afterward we stomped around
the cabin attending to things.

A skinny branch grew
an animal’s drooping haunches.

Let me just say I did have my
hesitations that night did regret

the fraying temperatures like
falling columns of wolves.

I had such
a terrible hunger

returning outside often
to blow into my palms

to scan the dark erratically
with my violent flashlight.

*

LIKE THIS

I.

At the end of the world
an island

allows us the relief of frailty.

Blinks neon as we
approach in our little boats

wet clothes spilling
out of blue light.

Says look at this trembling find.

Considers us as one would a scrap
caught in a lung.

As one would consider
many small mouths

their quiet constant sucking.

II.

The parties are stupefying
and promising of kingdoms.

A woman unmoving
as aftermath

flicks her wrist
indicating thirst

her diamonds gone
to threadbare seed.

Vanilla billows her
into opium.

Eel ruins and grottoes
of fermenting fruit.

We stupor in sand
with iced drinks.

For hours
we’ve been watching

some half-dead animal
tossed in the waves

its sodden fur

 

*

<___>

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