Michael Joseph Walsh

The worst thing I want is that delightful miniature with all the meat in it.

The next worst thing I want is another six doses of what you're having.

As if things could get any more characteristic, as if pungency alone were worth its weight in gills.

Here's my nailed-up position, and here's where the break will come, where we'll learn the terribly constricting effect of eye-holes and nose-holes and mouth-holes never quite plotting the things we want them to.

The strangeness we think we're rid of becomes strength, becomes a positional coming-to-life, a bird sky-tracing an alphabet, a landscape remembering its constituent flesh.

You will know me by the shape of the bowl I wear on my head.

You will know my signature birdcall backwards as you know your face in the mirror.

The tarp above us clears its throat, and it's all here, even if there's nothing of the country in it.

You're sitting on your hands, I can't understand you.

You're a noisy afternoon unto yourself like the angels puffing up our bread, and I can't quite make it out, but it's beautiful, what you've been saying, buoyed by shadows and sweat, furious and smearing in all the best ways.

If you were to wake me in the middle of the night wanting to do something expressly prohibited, if instead we contracted and grew rigid as human punctuation or surrendered ourselves into effluvia, what then?

It's a wonder the dead tap our shoulders at all the way we behave, twirling sirens for the whole world to see like common millionaires, opening in the direction of the sun.