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There are different kinds of dying                      my heart’s still not right
all night I shake scorpions            from the Technicolor bath towel
how do we mourn the dead                      we didn’t know
truth in its austerity                      smells like rank sweat
a primal screech       in a high up tree       this is the world we live in:
send dildos to the cowboy militia in Oregon       our heart’s not right
we ache       for a less curated banter       on this sweetest island
I sing Praise Be       into the heater-dry air         if I stop singing
the earth will fall into a dog’s mouth                 its teeth sweatered
with mawed cow parts       & black dreams
of blade grass                 stamped dirt                      sound of nostril breathing
blue blue sky all of it all of us
a mouth opening       in the bed of ages       in the marvel bed
in the dank & fleshy sheets                           we’re a hambone
hanging on a galaxy’s neck                           nothing changes after we die
except flight                      velocity               & vision of what before
we only imagined       everything shines      & primes us for shining

for CD Wright



I finally know why everything is awesome.
Shakespeare showed up in the night, just between
cemetery codpiece & emporium balloon
man. I watched clouds thrust northward,
away from the city by a strong hand
that stranded me between pillows & cat.
Cartwheel comes from cart wheel,
& this revelation makes me feel
like God’s daughter. At the child’s birthday
party, I’m surrounded by masked 3-year-olds, hippy
play dough. As one of the players, I’m floored
& trounced upon by petite gremlins.
Death, marriage, divorce, heartbreak:
I’ve already done enough. Give me a koala
mask, let me play pirates in figure 8s
through these rooms. I finally know
why everything is awesome, I finally
see the awesomeness, as when the clouds
run away, & Orion flashes
his teeth, & there’s this shimmering,
this monstrous bellyful of light.


Alexis OrgeraAlexis Orgera is the author of two books, How Like Foreign Objects and Dust Jacket, and several chapbooks. Poems, essays, interviews, and reviews can be found in Another Chicago Magazine, Copper Nickel, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Forklift Ohio, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, H_ngm_n, The Journal, jubilat, Lumen Magazine, Memorious, Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Sixth Finch, Tarpaulin Sky, Typo, and elsewhere. She is co-publisher of the kids’ book press Penny Candy Books with poet Chad Reynolds. Find her at alexisorgera.com.


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