Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998
Poems by Lawrence Bridges
IN THE PATH OF PILLAGE
We’re in a Dutch village in the path of pillage. Through
summer winters I wander into the cool air-conditioned,
refrigerated, and primly stocked supermarket. I hear an angry
“get lost!”. I ask for batteries, shaving cream,
and 81-milligram aspirin. Cranky planes pass through
the sky over adjacent zip codes and the ocean holds fast
to the sand. You crowd me, young voices, while I’m
nosing through your balloons to find my happiness.
THIS IS THE WAY YOU ALWAYS WANTED YOU TO BE
This is the way you always wanted you to be but the forest
of best years begins with an exception. You’re hunched
under a table missing its legs on one side to make the
tipping room look normal. Your morning starts with held
breath. A clock tries to warn of seconds until it perishes
somewhere in the day’s noise. I look for things to note.
Doorways, green cars, anything in series, clashing
geometries or faces in plumbing fixtures. I walk back
through a neighborhood of homes that killed all the old
people living there. Deaths have wrinkled my old smile.
HERE YOU ARE
Here you are, active in photography with a little
zippy hat in a quiet forest fainting with earth’s jive
from a windmill hill, old, alive, and surplus, unable
to run down a meal. I close the door, hoist the flag
sub-rosa, sub-silence, and rotate the dishes as,
freely, I send empty letters on the lick of stamp.
Lawrence Bridges' poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: “Horses on Drums” (Red Hen Press, 2006), “Flip Days” (Red Hen Press, 2009), and “Brownwood” (Tupelo Press, 2016). You can find him on IG: @larrybridges