ISSUE  1   2   3   4   SUBMIT

Three Poems

Jeremy Halinen


But sometimes beneath me
buildings rise and I don’t

want to jump.
A building is not

a hill, not soft
beneath me. I have lived longing

for hard things,
so I welcome buildings

into my life.                                           No one can tell me
the sick need doctors. They need new bodies

and hardness only buildings can bring.
If this building

is a magnet, this body
a magnet,

I understand
why I am here.

I didn’t jump.
The building disappeared.


Imagine a ship,
Mr. Crane always
about to jump,
to follow his first namesake
into the sea.
This time he has no
bottle of iodine
to swallow—
from experience he knows
that element’s two central letters
won’t rhyme
for him.

He’d rather, I imagine,
swallow a crewmember’s
cum—I know I would—
than jump—don’t do it,
Mr. Crane, don’t do it—
so he is only
about to,
perhaps thinking of
his breakfast with Peggy,
of the fun of
when you know you’re about to die.

Scratch that. How
can you more
than imagine? What
if you land in a net?
Is he thinking of that, of
how it happened
before, how you think
you’re almost home
but then you’re back on board
writhing face to face
with a fish equally desperate
to jump?


Perhaps I was dreaming of airplanes
and in my dream I lived in an age before airplanes,
an age in which birds ruled the air with wing and with song,
so that, in my dream, I was daydreaming of nonexistent things,
and that’s why I was surprised when I woke in an unfamiliar field,
my anus bleeding into the dry grass, an airplane passing, far above me
like the long ride last night from the dance club to this far, unfamiliar field
and to what happened here, in this space covered now by the small shadow
of the airplane, that can neither be remembered nor forgotten.