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"Meteor," a poem by Joseph Langdon

1.

Could I erode

that ridge

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between rib

and hip

the fluids

the cells

the squelch of organs

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cannot exonerate

 

It is not this body

you erase

each incarnation

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changeless

fluid

cell

beyond touch

beyond retribution

 

2.

There was a meteor shower

the Orionid

 

One flashed

between the flick of lighter

and cigarette tip

an ember

streaking home

its others all swallowed

in the gloam of pool

and night-light palm

 

I want to be the kind of man

who leaves the city

to see a meteor

 

3.

The embalmer

sets our skin

behind museum glass

the organs warm

set out for the hounding

street dogs

retrospect

they revise

strong sound

chambers

to scrap

not a murmur

a whimper

or nothing

 

4.

I want to be the kind of man

who leaves the city

to see a meteor

 

All our Orionids

are swallowed

in my breath

if I could nourish

translucence

I might show you

their gleam again

 

I would cure them

behind museum glass

I would score them out

and hang them back

 

I want to be the kind of man

 

Joseph Langdon will be one of four poets — the others are Dawn-Michelle Baude, Jamison Crabtree and Erica Vital-Lazare — who read their work during "Poetry in the Dark" at The Writer's Block, 8p, August 27. The poets will read in complete darkness. Reserve your seat at thewritersblock.org.