Adrian Sobol

The Bad News

You  have  bad  news. You  ring  every  number  you  can  think  of.   If
anyone  ever  picks  up,  if  a  voice  appears  on  the  other  end of the
line, you  will have to  tell them  the bad  news. Then  you  will have no
news. You  will listen  to  each  other  breathing  on  the  line,  nothing
but  the  bad  news  between you. The two of  you  will not speak for a
long  time. You  begin  to  imagine  what  this  other  person  will  look
like,  what  their   hands  will  do,  the  kinds  of  clothes  they  buy but
never wear. This  happens to you all the  time. You  have  a  closet  full
of  shirts  you  have  no  occasion  for. Tonight  is the night,  you think,
when the bad news will finally kill me
. You imagine what it will feel like,

finally  telling  someone  this  &  how  just  in   the  telling  you  will  be
free,  how  all  the  blood  you  have  kept  secret for so long will finally
come to follow you home.

Tongue Work (a second language)

It happens slowly the fester
of yr nightcap starts in

behind the fingernails a little
fly twisting its legs behind yr eyes

it's like this       the crook of a neck
in yr palm set against the clockhand

of skin
count the pulses
            the shimmer

you have to cut one vein to see
you close yr eyes instead

let the tongue work like a knife
& play guessing games

in a field the flowers linger
where you press yr hand

into the earth   the earth is warm
enough to crawl into
                        a body
            you won't dream of
anything less than the ghost of yr desire
once you open yr mouth

Adrian Sobol is a Polish immigrant, musician, and poet. He is the author of Torch Song (Ghost City Press).