Poetry from David Bankson

 

Chartreuse

I regret,
like coiled flowers I burst when loosed,
but the loosing is part of who I am.

I could never stop that sort of liquid:
a river rushing through my teeth,
rushing through my veins,

leaving an imprint
on the memory-foam mattress,
crusted with a coat of flesh

where I used to lay my heart.
It’s the voice of second-person
recognizing my fervent thoughts–

You aren’t good enough
for the love which you seek.
I regret,

therefore I am
salt in a potted plant.
It is vined like pothos,

dropping leaves between
the floorboards as they yellow
and fall away. I look

for every one.
But you swear you heard
the weeping willows

outside my gaping door.
They sucked away the entire sky,
leaving nothing except chartreuse.

 

Birth Certificate

When I was born you started
the symphony. I was born after

writing a love poem,
after raising expectations,

after losing a line
of shoelaces, after forgetting

why I was being born.
I was born without a device

stitched into the flesh of my hand
and without my name tattooed

into my palm, with no cruise control
or doing 90 on Westheimer Blvd.

On the ace of a blackjack,
though the map disagrees,

unexpectedly I was born–despite
popular opinion. I was born satiated,

with a large tree out the window,
with the Texas breeze upon my cheek.

Before I was born, we met
and decided where to smoke.

After I was born, Mr. Rogers taught us
how to love, not talk.

Like twin rosebuds, we were born
between the grass blades and the stars.

“Monologue from the Margin”

His voice hardens behind shadows
& a fraction of obscurity,

his disrobing loose as a clown’s pocket.
In this poem, green energy is unlikely —

the form, an alarm of stop
lights. Took moments to write.

Now he toes the line of margin, sews it up.
See the top and bottom, a voice. Everyone

can see him. He is full of fire,
the bad kind that burns small hands.

Soon the words will stop in his throat.
Soon the words will stop in the world.

We need help with the stanzas,
the message is too hard to express

without you. He forgot something
here — grimace too dark

in the light — barked words
like a trumpet, but we ignored them all.

 

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