Adam Fell


Christ their necks, their stunned necks,
lushed, hair up, the cheerleaders,
their throats, barest throats, collapsible
like wicks, lit, hands on mine, bare hands,
pulling my body up, up? yes, up, scared up,
from taserpoint & plasticuffs,
from boot-necked to the young bar floor,
the cheerleaders hold me, now, all, together,
above themselves, above the crowd,
above the riot cops, the shards of spit,
the brown glass spit, the gassing spit and eyes,
the choking kids, the townie kids
wrapping themselves in caution tape,
the college kids tipping over
the car they euphorically torched,
their groped mouths groping mouths,
their Mag-lite eyes bursting with happiness,
a happiness like a barricade, 
but at least, god, a happiness,
a makeshift shield of happiness,
their chapped lips smudged red
on the chipped glass rims of harder mouths.
They full-finger the flames, they fist and clear
and fling their burning fists at me,
at me above them, high above them,
higher now, the cheerleaders raising me,
my bloodier threads, dripping already, already?
on the sidewalk, on the damp grass, on the parts
of the cheerleaders I will never be a part of,
the moving parts most stunning when they're still.



My blood is a family automobile on fire but my toddling blood is untrained at being fuel so reverts to the purest form of accident, concedes its blood-flush, fuel-heart, to the inferno, to the shoulder gravel, to the sky, to the kids watching my blood crude to steel frame, roll cage, puddle to primer, rubber, plastic, caustic smoke gauding sky, the sky quite above and away from us, but right here so close to us, so close enough to clog the onlookers, the sheer-drags of their faces, our faces, lagging behind as brinks of my blood crag and uncrag in the gravel. But shit,
now the kids are pulling out their favorite sources of water, someone's brought the community school of alarms, it was only a matter of time, but christ, where'd they get those powerful buckets?  Suddenly so freshly-trained, so taut with purpose,  protocol, the inner Mag-lite glare of their eyes? They're forming this human chain in the tampered lawn that leads from the river to my blood, its melting treads careening into the gaunt light sky, smoke-cake sky, my blood so curious, just curious, my blood, its body so confused, shaken, it just wants to wait, so lets just wait and see if I'll be smothered out by the weight of my own corrosive ash or if I'll burst before you into a trick of collateral light for an instant.



Downed, they let me, the cheerleaders,
the cheerleaders unhand me, all of me,
my fingers streak their beaded arms,
smudge their beaded calves,
their faces of powdered shell and sand,
turn away, they turn away
from me and seep and bank and settle,
they fade into doorways, into dorms,
to lofted beds, to futons,
the highest step in the stairwell,
anywhere recoverable,
anywhere no one can touch them.
They leave, and wet the city's morning
as they leave, and slur the lobes of me.
I am garbled, garbled but gallantly safe,
because of their kind bodies, their kind brains,
their footprints now just crushed grass, god,
my fuckt loyalty, my shivering, my snuffling brain,
my body, my body, the bar is gone,
the cheerleaders gone, I know they're gone,
but still, their blood-flush, pore-scrub,
I feel them through the cinderblocks,
the paint coats, I feel them on the one
soft cake of skin left beneath my arm,
the bruises of their fingertips yellowed
just to health, this health, thank god,
this health, thank god, for their kind brains,
their kind bodies, thank god, even alone,
even asleep, even in sweats, they broadcast,
on a loop, even as they dissipate,
unconfirmed reports of a new world
violently forming around me
with one less intimacy of glass
to have never put my fist through,
one less tongue to have never let in my mouth.





Bomb-Making Materials 1 & 2 were inspired by the line "I used to be carried in the arms of cheerleaders." from "Mr. November" by The National.