two poems by tj lyons

We are Plummet

Books have made us bankrupt.
I’m 25 and have floaters in both eyes.

A stream retreats to its source:
the fish swims into a bigger mouth.

I have too many eyes to choose
what I see. I stare at my computer

screen and never look at my bank
statements. There are seven lemons

on the counter. Never a climber of
birch wood but at times a stowaway

in a cold hole. Come on, always go
in the attic when the music says you

shouldn’t. I want to live in the earth.
Home-mire. Please make me cringe.

I admire the dirty pool then bathe in it.
The truth will set you on fire.

Answers are in the attic hiding
in boxes you haven’t opened.

You’re an astronaut and I’m the opposite.
No matter what I eat my stomach

is in revolt. My breath smells like
birth. It makes me feel like my spine

was ripped out to whip me into a skin
puddle. We got married in a drive

through chapel that also changed
our oil. What a steal.

When we locked ourselves in the shed
and feasted on the tree’s fruit: I hid you

the skin from that day to make a quilt.
The cold truth always follows me home.

Where is the emoticon for the fingernail
battalion digging at the inside of my

eyelids? I like to think I’m the king
of sleep and stand in front

of my open refrigerator
dressed in full snow gear

imagining how I’ll squeeze
inside,

you stuffing me in.
 
 
Paradelle for the Morning

I don’t keep clocks in my apartment.
I don’t keep clocks in my apartment.
Someday I’ll have teeth for the face.
Someday I’ll have teeth for the face.
Someday I’ll face my apartment,
have teeth in for the clocks I don’t keep.

Dust out your nostrils, that old tire pile.
Dust out your nostrils, that old tire pile.
My big toe is strong enough to lure a sock.
My big toe is strong enough to lure a sock.
Pile dust to lure strong nostrils. Enough is
a big out. Your toe. That tire. My sock.

We’re slowly becoming carpet lore.
We’re slowly becoming carpet lore.
Roll down your window. Smell the hair.
Roll down your window. Smell the hair.
Roll your smell. We’re the hair. Carpet
becoming window. Slowly down lore.

I don’t keep your dust in my sock.
Nostrils for the strong carpet have that old lore.
A big toe is hair. We’re down. Pile out.
Roll tire. Smell apartment.
Someday I’ll face your window, becoming
my teeth—slowly enough to lure the clocks.
 
 
TJ Lyons edits poetry for Arroyo Literary Review. He pretends to be a teacher, but he’s really just a dude with too much skin. His brain is an airplane of strangers arriving safely for another departure over the same frigid grid of midwest winter.