These two poems originally appeared in print in the debut issue of Constellations: A Journal of Poetry and Fiction in the fall of 2011.

Flypaper

After you’ve killed us with your disbelief,
we’ll be reincarnated.
It’ll be me and the three boys
in your New York apartment kitchen—
that’s us, the four houseflies,
stuck to the curling yellow strip of flypaper,
dangling helpless little circles
above the bread and butter.
You’ll walk in and stroke the cat,
put a book next to the butter.
We’ll strain our little compound eyes,
recognize the names of who we were.
We’ll sigh our little fly sighs
and wish we were the cat.

But we’ll just have to be grateful
that you didn’t squash us,
that you didn’t pin us
between the yellow lead paint
and a rolled up Entertainment Weekly.

French

I loved the frills of it—
le français
The fancy vowel contortions,
ridiculous yet undeniably sophisticated,
like high fashion.

The prim and constricted “u
closely accompanied by a
languorish nasal,
slack and resonating,
resembling a moan
of either passion or ennui,
for instance in the word “fondu.”

Alluring mélange:
the lack of care in the
toss of a hand barely holding
a cigarette,
the boredom and lust of
nonchalant breasts,
yet suddenly the firm insistence upon
perfection—
like a finely crafted bustier
with small stitching—
ever fluxing between
tension and release.