THERMOS 10: Two Poems by Hunter Deely

These two poems are from our special issue of THERMOS featuring Hunter Deely’s poetry. Check back tomorrow for a final poem. For an introduction, see here.

For the possibility of the dead

These are the avocado seed cities,
                            tomatoes and chocolate in the streets.
              When our reflections in the blue glass
                                of office buildings begin to remember
their pilgrimage. The young men on the streets of Piedras Negras
                                          with Virgin Guadalupe tattoos, unsure
                            from which dream they are waking.

I have eyes in the back of my head that detect
                            the scent of approaching frogs, swarms
          of spider flies. These are the cities we burned
              as we recited the different types of clouds:

We don’t have an immigration problem,
we have a capitalism problem,
                                    we have a problem
                                    of biting into tomatoes
                                    and being covered in blood.

              He has a coffee stain on his forehead
              which functions as a violent cipher.

We suffer from the reverence of rebellion,
                              suffer the coffee burning red
          and black stars into our chests – the image
          that lets us sustain the deadly abstraction.

The power plant is made of bones.
                      Coal butterflies tumbling over the lake.

For the possibility of the dead, we divide sycamore leaves by their veins.

No, it is not a metaphor – we do receive these messages,
                      the trees are covered in gang tattoos.

She made love to me in an elevator
                      and drank a bottle of eyedrops.

She made love to me on the beach
                      and cut her hand open with broken glass.
She made love to me in a pecan orchard
                      and used the insecticide for contraception.

These are the vaults of undying fruit. We
                      took their possibility for granted,
              forgot how soft her avocado felt as I
                pushed it through my teeth. Let it go.

Just let it go. The truth is what we call it.
                                              The lake is dead, peopled by ghost turtles
              and heavy metal. From the checker tile mansion
we sneak into the labyrinth, open the vault door
                            out to a beach of coal.

                            Chocolate drops from her eyes.
              Chocolatl. Avocatl. When she speaks Nahuatl
                            she does it softly.

Ocelots line the streets of border towns.
Everyone will be forgotten. Everyone
will be forgotten.

She made love to me in the bowels of Yucca Mountain.
With my finger in her ass she vomited uranium, our half life
                      approaching in the eyes of ocelots.
            I disgust myself. In the city
                                          of electrical bones the clairvoyant reminds me
    I have chosen to receive these words.
              These hieroglyphs on her bloody cheeks.
    Her turquoise teeth.
Ah, the taste of her eyes.
The taste of her bloody, chocolate eyes.
Everyone will be forgotten. Everyone
                            will be

After the Flood / The Nest

Fossil hunting on a hill, I found a book
my mother had left in a sudden shower
when she still had strength to climb.

It had warped and caught in mountain laurel
branches, and it seemed very hard, yet light.

The binding flaked onto my fingers,
and its brittleness showed how much rain
it really had drunk: down to a cavern
emptied and refilled at the center.

There would be a Great Mystical Significance
to whichever poem I read. A shared meaning
would curl palpably in the air above the outcrop
of limestone. As soon as I knew the words,
pieces of the universe would fly together to show
that there is no space between any two things.

When I split the spine termites poured
over my hands like escaped letters, pages
ground down at the edges and excreted in a fine
dust that settled brown at the mountain laurel’s roots.

I couldn’t remember the sound of her voice
caught in the silence of the nest of dead words,
in the shriveled, hollow shell of a paper mask.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: