Neighbors, the Hill, and Probate
Lawn turns to rock overnight,
every bird- and bug-dropped seed
ossified. This front yard is a bone yard,
a blockade of condo living.
She’s shaking on the sidewalk,
waves at the sink window
for you to meet her at a distance
safe away from what’s between walls.
The sink tap is full of poison.
She can taste it. It’s been added to her
mind by the man in unit six. A gated
side yard’s full of exchanged dilapidations.
In court records, the judge rules she poured
a month’s water each night hosing a grass dirt
patch. She looped the line on a fence to manage
weight, rested a block on it beside her slippers.
The side of the hill, its higher shoulder dried up,
police let the building be without kindness.
Her lake dried like a roof, her coat-closet hidden
body. The pipes. The months that followed.
Catch & Release & Catch & Release
someone offers you, say, a pint,
and when you lift
a thirsty hand
to your big face hole—
glide glass your tongue—
the drink spouts right through
your cheek, and you think
maybe openings just live there now
and will stay wide,
dome decor you’ll
keep clean with spray
But then it’s yanked.
A new void, beer arcing.
A hook’s all gone, and stings,
a fountain from a new
Then someone is all
sorry, bro, my bad
which is to say
you are too small
to mount or even eat.
Then you’re smacked back
into your habitat,
one event over, and every
next hour is mostly like before
only now you see the world
with a new socket
below your natural eye.
You’re guarded by lips
on a jaw that keeps catching,
a maw that won’t
align to close.
You confuse a cricket
with the grasshopper,
what with their legs
or whatever that make
and are percussive in air.
They go flying like they just
had to learn something new,
June bugs. How we’d all rather,
Adam Deutsch is the author of a full-length collection, Every Transmission (Fernwood Press). He has work recently in Poetry International, Thrush, Juked, AMP Magazine, Broken Lens Journal, and Typo, and has a chapbook called Carry On (Elegies). He teaches in the English Department at Grossmont College and is the publisher of Cooper Dillon Books. He lives with his spouse and child in San Diego, CA. AdamDeutsch.com