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no pronouncements

On a small hill grew a bullhorn rose.

It was making no pronouncements.

Beyond the hooded moon, the stars would not

unleash their light. My fingers

cold with summer could not button

my shirt. The fingers had been

imperiled. Jinxed.

No curtains hung

between where it happened and hadn’t. The man

I worked with looked at me,

shrewd. He’d seen

my dull face. His neck veins

tightened. He flipped

something grill-wise, said

I’ll kill him.

The absent-me wrung out

a rag, turning away from the sink,

away from the wall, flat

as a hand pressed over a mouth.

—It was air that had forced me down,

pinned me, heaved till I

became little of a self

with a little thought:

Check for blood regardless.

Flat in parking lot dirt I turned

for orientation, eye to eye

with something glinty—rim misshapen,

half-sunk metal. I could be


only to flowers and birds,

the stricken

fields and fields and fields of them.

The human?

(could he be a he—a being—what he


what could be only


Like air: memory

Memory: like air

I walk through and


It hangs and hangs and hangs—

not bell, not noose.

A case of walking paralysis.

A case of can’t-report.


at the shack, the tree. Nothing

looks back.


to-pull, are you ready

to gleam

in the lot

where I could not


Shock me past

the blacking out.

Shock me awake—

speak for the mouth-that-was-mine,

for the voice, triple-strapped

in its jacket, marching on.

from Daylily Called it a Dangerous MomentFind more by Alessandra Lynch at the library

Copyright © 2017 Alessandra Lynch
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Alessandra Lynch Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.