» Poetry

Thousands and Thousands of Thousand Oaks

When I’m watching the street fill up with leaves when dusk morphs
to a waxy flickering to a phone pinging dad I’m inside this bar
I’m line dancing
I’m filled with holes for the man with the Glock
releasing the safety must be orgasmic and a background check
equals emasculate one day is like another and then it’s another
school café yoga studio church another concert hall another
outdoor space for cold bodies quiet like a pile of unlucky armadillos
when a friend arrived two days before the one at the synagogue
when he said I have a right to carry to sleep with it to fuck it
the pasta went from hearty to heart riot though I wanted to handshake
a civil understanding on the footprints leading to a glowworm cave
of mourners to the police officers’ eyes the line dance toward
the hearse that my pain string was taut that our country’s pain string
is taut that our country is electric like a frying pan with a frayed cord
always a fray away from fire


Martha Silano

Martha Silano’s books include Gravity Assist, Reckless Lovely,and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, all from Saturnalia Books. Her poems have appeared in  American Poetry ReviewBlackbirdNew England Review, and Poetry. Silano is the recipient of North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize, the University of Arizona’s Summer Residency Fellowship, and the Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Residency. She teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle.

Author photo: Langdon Cook.