FIZZ IN THE BABY POOL
There’s a trailer in the Rockies with hummingbirds
boxing the back yard in. You always hear them
sticking each other up. The winner gets airtime
with the other’s vibrato, is not partial to a thought
swooped into the beak of its baby mama—combed
back and primed for light. Refractive curves,
it turns out, are everywhere, and their little blood
could only rise in a thimble. This to emulsion
is a miracle. (Bilk a miracle, baby mama says.)
Back to the trailer. A life made virtuous by
the sincerity of heat rash—noon with its several tries.
Our boy midway through his nine prim circles,
practically impotent. If only he argued that hell
is a real job—that nights light a jungle
made off with by the mile; not just the cheap acre
of briny wing and the occasional croup. For now,
his ass-boa on fire. Poor footwork in a
dream curated by warbles looks beat but puts in
the time. Fault expanding through swamp
vision—the camcorder found peck-marked
in a froth of cussed-for shade.
Didn’t come finger-pricked in
another’s sleeping bag for show. Grip
lid and untwist. You and that fox absorb
same light, sometimes for money.
Not the kind of money a body makes
screwing, but not without its benefits.
I always imagined you snowblind
and ceramic, wearing the sleeping
bag like a greatcloak, feathers
pricking up from its skin.
What keeps idiocy from drowning is
impeccable timing. Your brother exercises
tact in not shitting himself at the
conference table. Of course it’s not
Tuesday. The weather, also,
sounds like the swirl your brother
so wants to hear. I mean you
never wanted to bring the pie,
though I always brought
dialtone: bleating through slits in the
peripherals but we were never
asleep and getting dressed was like
dying on a field trip—comme ci, comme
ça. You knew how to drive stick,
but the hand that did your knobwork
was always sweaty, which does
affect reaction time, though the ride
was always shorter. I, thinking
a swallowed blossom doesn’t
turn to shit, drew up plans
for a crater. Your brother’s just caught
a penny in his mouth. Someone
fetch the backdrop, let us weep.
Turns out the penny cured him
better than big pharma, better
than evidence for love. The trees
repeat, cartooned. Then they maraud.
I’m still stuttering in the tub
while you comb granaries for scrap metal,
practically drooling. You are not
what stays in a colander, and the jewels
nestled in my neck-hollow like sap, what
of them? A shape made twice both times turns up
startled, vaguely facial, hardly
at all. Everything put out, candles capped to mimic
retort and so paid for by an answer. What we
want is an answer. You and that fox.
A table long enough to lose voice over.
LILY DUFFY & SUMMER GREER met in Baltimore in 2011 and began writing poems together shortly thereafter. Now, Lily is a first year MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Colorado Boulder and Summer is rounding out his second and final year as a poetry MFA at Johns Hopkins University. The poems are still coming. This is their first collaborative publication.