Size / / /

Content warning:

to have seen the visitors
do flips and come gentle
on to the ground
approach with hands raised
get struck down

it walked upright,
upright and upright,
then when shot
ran on all fours
propulsed by the arms

they approached the house
from always the darkest corner

found facing the diving suits
found breathing
broad soldiers
I was intrigued
by a dark mass
on the railroad tracks.

later on, when he
regained control of his body

it comes again our diving bell
unto the home,
the chief of police touching
the lip, the cleft jaw,
the melted septum.

the official body working
in liaison with the Air Police
belongs to the Ministry of National Defense.
The very name of this Ministry excludes
the idea of any communication.

the following objects came to light:
brown skullcaps in the mines
object in the vicinity of the house
calcined stones
what we would have once called
faerie rings
burnt places

recurring and recurring. paralyzed
in the face of the luminous suit

alone in his field he thought.
he thought it in his field he
thought it may be a kind
of prototype.
we will be exchanging
information vocally
via a species of gargle

red noise for a blue message
how we measure tone so unfamiliar,
you know us by our ringing,
sweet like a bell,
like the bird that thatches
the sun with its crossing
all craft of it, all its art revealed
in the minuteness of its supple passing
it is in grace we come,
or it is in grace

alone in his field
he thought he was going to die

rise and do not
lose its red ring color

fold the stems down
in the field, flat, a dead reed,
a ring reed green in color

I would prefer to lie there dreaming about things being fine
I would like that silence, come in the guise
of two pressed thumbs, to place
that sleep to thinner juice, here,
in the bed of an empty blue truck, wearing
first clean black shoes of a boy
and listening to Art Bell and eating American
cheese wrapped around a Slim Jim and believing under
the eyelids a substance greener, this unsatisfying body
maneuvered to pieces by things without names
or without shape so crisp as all that
as imagining biting through the spines
of mall paperbacks and throwing
the moon from the roof of the moon in
confusion and I would prefer half knowing
enormous eyes a pine cone suspended
in the middle air

or blood all over the teeth and gums
uncertain about the whole interval
that metal chip—I mean, don’t you think—
here or there or here like
tin pressing at the chin and jaw
and throat to find it, the measly
smell of jeans, or radiation poison akin,
I attempt to persuade you, to the Tunguska event
or Dyatlov Pass or
one or several mothmen alit
from bare trees all this stuff beyond
the thing periphery of smoke in somebody else’s
wheatfields, hair falling out, bones growing dense

and long, ultimately, just some piece of shit lying there for hours
as if magnified or dead before rising and puking
and going back inside to drink milk, and lunar maladies,
and black salt beneath the fingernails, unfortuitous objects
of some kind or another, unspecifically, nectar, pollen,
adult men, their ugly caps, and
their slow cocoons in Autumn

he felt a drowsiness and
wondered where he was going

Holly Schaeffer-Raymond is the author of Heaven’s Wish to Destroy All Minds (2020, woe eroa) and Mall is Lost (Adjunct Press, 2019) as well as work appearing in We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetic, the Bedfellows Little Black Book, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Philadelphia, where she is completing her dissertation.
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