Apartment Poetry Quarterly

15A              15B              15C              15D              15E              15F


15a Aaron Lopatin




After the accident, our parish halls grew swollen. I weaned
lambs from the pale soap that cascaded down
their mothers’ swollen udders. My
fingers parted their begging mouths. I shook confetti
from their hooves in the webbed mesh
of night. My mother held the bulbs of
her crimson amaryllis and summoned
the lunar new year from its green
nirvana. That night I spoke to tulips. That
night I smoked and smoked; tobacco leaves
grew fur and I shined a light in their yawning
mouths. Jesus wore a halo. It had never rained
so gently. Jesus crawled below the surface
of a claw-foot tub, among imagined gardens
of aloe and jade. Children inundated the
square and their faces ticked with the pleading
rhythm of a cat’s tongue. I drank tears from soup. I drank
and drank as the last drop sunk inside itself.  






Leo Tolstoy appeared in the pixie ring, sucking
both thumbs and fingering through the wispy,
derelict hairs of his beard. His raven kept its
eye on me. He spoke in the northern dialect and
the valley flooded with flowers as delicate as the
tips of succulent chives. One appeared in his
mouth. A bullion cube of froth breasted the mountain
range and bore down on us. At dusk
the shrouded world was reformed.
                                                Bricks became the ochre
legs of mushrooms. His Russian hands converted
to water and sizzled. They were shards of ice on the rococo
magma of a soul’s mansion. His eyeteeth became knives
in the hands of an ancient juggler. His tongue was a
sword in the mouth of a dying rat. The blade of
sound separated from shrouded turquoise crystals
in the hollow of his chest.
                                               He stands alone on the
world’s thatching, gracing us with scars and his
tablecloth spreads over the softening Milky Way.