Monday, December 14, 2009

2 poems by J. Michael Wahlgren

The Briefcase Room
(After John Berryman)

This was a dream, as I
never felt that way before in life.
I spoke in Braille, cursed
my hands for ripening her breasts—
In The Briefcase Room, where only

one remains inside, the rest travel
on Caps,
or through the wedded arrival
of groomsman etc. etc., No one has been inside without a code, the erosion
of hinges. Years pass & no last minute decisions;
all are planned by map. Rarely cash,

mostly diamonds.
It was the only way into your fault.
It was the only way.
It was the only way into the vault.
No one has seen The Briefcase room,
only you (!) know of its whereabouts.

With a comma, I breathe again, forcefully devouring, or reversing the smoke inside. Balloon filled with an in-tune note, releases & moves across the sky— a floating G-clef, a whole eye. Street lights attempt to caress the shadows— as I walk, notice, the breath of my air— hot. On the promenade, a drink is filled. Al fresco— the freshness of the gossip, like a plate of who’s who & who slept with who last night. I’m filled up quickly.

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