Apartment Poetry Quarterly

1A              1B              1C              1D              1E              1F


1D Brian Henry



woke choking   dying with some thing stuck  
pointer down throat to fish the foreign out  
rushed to the bathroom sink to rinse   take
the faucet’s flawed offering   woke

into the heart attack so tight it crunched there  
welcome weakness   welcome shock   my pills
in one hand   my pills in the other hand  
no enchanted exit   no sure sure

when did you drive your head through the door  
bits of hair & scalp now adorn
black eye for a bloody nose   broken arm
for a broken nose   concussion for a concussion

the mouth when it yawned ripped open  
the chin split down the middle by a tree
the phone torn from the wall   every picture
torched   she bleached herself to rid herself 

the punch hurt no more than a punch
but the stone in the ring cut my arm   baby river
to sit & watch the blood until the blood slows 
until the wound has dried   a friend lost the tip

of his ear in a fight   he was rolling
on the asphalt with the other
when the other decided to bite   a part of him
in my pocket   later it reconnected

too much volume & my fist strikes my temple  
strikes until the sound is no sound
as when a migraine is memory when
the head hits the wall   another hurt

to drown out   the aura   a physical act of prayer  
transporting oneself through the surface
seeing oneself to one side   a blur
that marks   is   every surface

my lie   he threw me against the ceiling  
the truth   he threw me against the wall
the bruises on my back   the bruise in my skull  
the feeling   for half a second   of flight

his hands around my neck   my back
against the fridge   his eyes squeezed to slits
no worse than the belt against my thighs  
a few lashes in exchange   how loud those welts

woke seeing a figure beside the bed   
destroyed the lamp   woke seeing a figure beside
the bed   hurled myself against the wall  
woke seeing a figure beside the bed   leaped

to attack the iron upright on its board  
woke seeing a figure beside the bed  
woke choking   dying with some thing stuck  
my spleen in my clotted throat

the boy swung in circles by his arms  
this boy knocked from another’s shoulders
that boy lifted & dropped   head
abounce on the grassless field



Note: The poem’s title is from St. Augustine’s Confessions.