Two Poems


Ari Banias

THE LACK OF ANY BED BUT ONE’S MUSIC TO SLEEP IN
 
                                                              after Spicer

Go ahead: try dragging
your trumpets out
in a snowstorm
 
their shine’s    a singular inaudible warmth
 
Distinctions are absent      when muted in snow
 
every angel laid off hours ago
every bright O
                       closed
 
When the sky    the air    the ground
                                                  are the same
 
color as the languageless edges of things
 
The sentence
stares back at the body
 
like an accusation
from everywhere
 
What will you make of this
 
 
 
 
The Dress
 
There’s only one dress left,
and it’s stuffed in a bag
at the back of our closet. After we
become a boy, but when we still have tits
sometimes we put it on—
lipstick, blonde wig, shiny fabric hugging
chest and ass—and no one
knows who we are.
Friends breeze past, or else
hit on the sudden stranger
leaning back against the wall.
The dress—it’s a slip, really—
survives from high school. Black
freckled with small blue flowers,
a torn hem edged in cheap lace.
Back then it went with a paint-splattered
sweatshirt, ripped up
red hi-tops to harden its frill. Later,
when we’re in the wig, we wear it
with low red heels,
eyelashes long enough to catch flies,
go to the Thursday night bar and watch everyone
watching each other
anonymously. Sometimes we miss
being a girl, the flounce of it, the shine
of a bright comet passing of it—
then remember. We never
quite were. But if we squint
hard into the next moment,
we can see what isn’t yet ours: this body
still the one we’ve known, yet utterly
changed: our chest flat,
a new gait, and blue
rosebuds flaring around us
like a throaty whisper, finally
some perfect kind
of strange.