Mikey Swanberg

on overlook beach

lover scoop me up too
& carry me In your wind-

breaker’s pink pocket
oh whatever you do

just take my ass home

auto-biography (abr.)

I knew I knew nothing.
The dog of kindness

pressed her paw hard
on my hip.

Wild blackberries
scratched the shit

out of my arms, but later
I couldn’t find a mark.

For so long I hoped
I’d turn out different

than I am –
dog help me.

It’s going to take me
forever to carry back

all this sweetness
I found.

for the plank road billboard

if the end is coming soonish
it didn’t think to call ahead

though in full sun you can see
how grey I’ve gotten

how serious joy was about leaving
its record across my face

my god I liked to stay up late
in the kitchen talking shit

being sweet and noisy
in those blue cat hours

how nice that was
to be the last

window still lit
on the wine-dark street

and to go on glowing anyway
and to go on glowing

lover we are all alone – it is terrible

a man on the train says
that’s just the way it is

with biblical angels
to a friend who shook

his head & shrugged
I guess I must be

thinking of a different kind
of biblical angel

I wish our days
were not this packed

with stupid beauty
I rattle out of the city alone

my hundred eyes
spinning hidden

under fifty pairs
of shades

I know only that I am living
which means I am still

moving towards you
I have long forgotten

where I started
I have never

once known
the way

basic land management

the retention ponds burned
old lovers walked off

into lucrative consulting gigs

the neighbor’s heritage pigs got loose
but looked so like the woods

we all knew they were gone

did birds once fly in and out of you
or was that me

years now I’ve wandered this dry creek

yowling your name
training my ear to catch

some distant cry in the cypress

I’ve been wearing as a winter coat
what someone I love once said to me

only half of the calls the birds make come with a purpose

the experts all agree
that they just really like to sing

Mikey Swanberg is the author of Good Grief and the chapbook On Earth As It Is, both with VA Press. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Passages North and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin—Madison & lives in Chicago.
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About Posit Editor

Susan Lewis (susanlewis.net) is the Editor-in-chief and founder of Posit (positjournal.com) and the author of ten books and chapbooks, including Zoom (winner of the Washington Prize), Heisenberg's Salon, This Visit, and State of the Union. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies such as Walkers in the City (Rain Taxi), They Said (Black Lawrence Press), and Resist Much, Obey Little (Dispatches/Spuyten Duyvil), as well as in journals such as Agni, Boston Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Conjunctions online, Diode, Interim, New American Writing, and VOLT.