Two poems by Dante Clark

How Soon Before the Locusts

Thoughts & prayers my ass. Next door,

Raheem’s back on his bullshit with the oven

& the exposed gas line again & I gotta go to work

soon. It could be said that I believe in medicine

as much as the next former overdose.

When they found my father—his tub

still full of water—I was 900 miles away

with an action figure floating face-first in mine.

I guess I know time by its heavy handed delivery.

It’s cynical bell tower gong that knows I’m running

late again. I can’t believe I have to leave my bedroom

for this cold world of stares & strange dilemmas.

For undependable train lines. Is it bad to want another plague

that’ll save me from leaving my house? Sweet useful despair.

G-d, somewhere, tired of my weird requests is busy

with the clouds. They are beautiful. They are always

so beautiful. But, fuck it, where’s the fire?

and then the water spoke back

after Irene Vázquez

and said,

i be brown just like you

though i shouldn’t be

dripping from this leaky faucet

and elsewhere

i’m a puddle that’s been stepped in

and stared at

reflections being the only way

not to drown in me

and somewhere far away

i’m a fresh body spilling

from a spring