A Patch of Bricks
By Elias Bartholomew

A patch of bricks in
a neighborhood wall
reminds you of one year ago.

You would read in the sun
corrupt and small
poems in Latin.

Memories, if you turn them over,
might bare words and a corresponding image
like diagrams explaining the flavors of animal gummies —
Pineapple, orange, funny grape.

The brick-patch seemed carefree
maybe “sad as a clown.”

The books were warm to the touch
inviting, life-like and distant
akin to a bright sunny island.

The poems seemed infinite.
You loved fifty and eleven.

Take them out of the package.
Refer to the diagram.
Look at the diagram in a confused way.
It hasn’t been marked clearly.

Your fingers shiny with sugar —
is that the taste of funny grape?
You were laughing then, weren’t you?

And whatever wasn’t funny could be stacked,
shelved, for later, among the bricks.

4:00am, Wind-Up Ode
by Roger Pellegrini

I wake where a moment ago
the book began to fold shut.

I blink and
can’t make out

my hands.
Night’s behind my eyes.

Space is a kind of panic,
searching and collapsing,

a span of empty fields
heaving and heaving

among each other.
And us awakened

under thick cloud
in a car we meant to return.

My eyes anger for light,
insisting in the dark, resurfacing,

until a single point
makes out —

a single prick, extinguished star,
the lone origin,

and all the world, and us,
one thread drawn through it.

With my thumb,
I blot it out.