An Entreprenural Idea
Gravel seems lovely until you eat it / That could
be a bumper sticker / The cool kids would put it
across the tops of their bicycle helmets / &
everyone else would follow suit in search of being
cool / But nobody would ride bicycles / Everyone
would start eating gravel by the handful / Even
though its not lovely / Even though the bumper
sticker clearly says that / It wouldn’t matter /
Because the cool kids aren’t in search of
something / lovely / Nobody is /Everyone’s a cool
kid / While loveliness does the searching these
days / Dogs the size of dogs with lanterns around
their necks / Their wet noses / Touching the back
of one knee / & then the other
On the Phone, My Mom Tells Me How
Hot It is In the City I Am In, Right
Now, While I Stand Outside, In the
Heat, of That Very Same City
A bat flies so close
to your face that for a moment
you finally appreciate the
moon’s desire for distance.
It’s like, earlier today,
when I overheard a person
tell another person,
Don’t get me started! & not
waiting long enough to say it
again. Don’t get me started!
This is why I worry.
This is why I’m thankful
I’ve only heard
parrots learn how to say a name.
would start to sound like family.
& you know as well as I do,
there’s only so many rooms
a home can have before
you have call it something new.
Please, take a picture.
It will last longer,
I’m not taunting you.
I’m only hoping
to give this weather a fighting
chance. Like it needs me.
Like you do.
One-Act Play in Which Please, Don’t
Mistake This For a Fable
[The stage is an entire open field. You can’t see
where it ends, & neither can I. There is an owl, on
the ground, in what limited vision has decided is
the center of the field. The audience here, may
assume that whenever an owl is seen, death
should be expected. But maybe the audience
won’t assume that here. Maybe the audience will
never have heard of this connection, between
owls & death, & instead look for some connection
between this owl & you & me.]
You: I don’t remember what you look like.
Me: You look like a guillotine that refuses to work.
You: If you were here right now, I’d remember
exactly what you looked like.
Me: You look like a bridge where people stop to
look up instead of down.
You: When I try to think about what you look like,
the world diminishes for a second.
Me: You look like an entire forest has been cut
down, & inside each stump is an animal that was
once trapped, but is no longer.
You: To diminish isn’t to fade, I think.
Me: You look like a water fountain with an “out of
order sign” posted on it, & little green leaves
beginning to peek through the spout.
You: Once I told you that owls can’t digest the
bones of mice. The owl swallows the mouse
whole, & then later throws up the bones.
Me: I don’t remember what you look like.
You: Sometimes they throw up whole skulls.
[At this point in the play, the audience has
realized something. The owl is no longer there.
Maybe it flew away.]
Dalton Day is a literal dog-person, Pushcart nominee, & MFA candidate in The New Writer's Project at UT Austin. He is the author of the collection Actual Cloud, as well as the chapbooks FAKE KNIFE & Tandem. His poems have been featured in PANK, Hobart, & Alien Mouth, among others. He can be found online at myshoesuntied.tumblr.com & twitter.com/lilghosthands.