In sleep, an event must make our forgetting

1990s     textless house, & in pieces


brush-alert warm sky

fieldspan a window and night-for-night imbalance

its focal points

are frame left to right, top down


smooth slow, angle change

rectangle click, I spy

who’s the voyeur

& from where




the man has a tattoo on his hip, yellow, red, green   he waits for everyone to leave

his body is felt so much in sleep     the way it fits

he says, tongue-to-tongue is all he wants     the woman is disappointed     (the lower

hip means to open up, vulnerability)   she draws him to   & down her throat


she picks up his phone   he is on a reel there, in a desert


the woman turns off   turns, there are

voices in the street so lightly saying

“this empty star is sad, is sad, has such sad eyes”


there are icons on

windowsills way way down, their long glint

gives the city a name




Elsewhere I was a daughter, I was a mother, I was either/or.


We were tracked to a house by men. I knew what would happen. Circumstance nameless, open door. She was taken upstairs, I followed. I said to them — take me instead. One man said yes, take her. She is experienced. Give or take a fixed fight it felt like any type of wreck, pretty old to me. Behind closed curtains, I lay down, I spied. I sucked. I sucked by inch. I tried to take control of the rape. Sat backwards on his face & talked dirty. Another man asks is she awake? In the dream I thought, my current feelings are silent on this. I never say what I want.




on an excursion

of ten years removed, that

blue blank   sky- no freedom

the others, they wear

old faces

walk through doors to expanse of lawn

held hands lost millimeter by mm.   minutely slow until

moving apart   but side by side

I somehow got away                 I hear myself   “for years the —

for years it was like this”




I ask people, have you seen someone?


A woman [elegant, fearless, fertile] stands on a white-wood porch, says,

on one of those sensual islands, I hear       you know he cut his throat     here’s a flower

Jane Lewty is the author of Bravura Cool (1913 Press: 2013) selected by Fanny Howe as the winner of the 1913 First Book Prize in 2011. Her poems have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Bone Bouquet, The Volta and jubilat, among others.

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