when the metaphor fails us

we just talk directly at the thing – like your

body is a temple, but it’s squishy & I love

to put my face in it. The man who

invented the knock-knock joke

shot himself & lived. He was a

rotten & charming man


you need no excuse today. There’s an app that

calls your boss & says

_________ won’t be coming in today

because _________ …zzzzz… zzz

& then there’s horrid screaming! & a lion

roaring! & the kitchen stove turns inside-out! & it’s

obvious why _________ might have to

lay in bed until the drawbridge relaxes

into dystrophy


as much as we labored, it didn’t totally work out.

It was awesome, though! I promise!

Look at us glowing

over the internet. I know you were


& I take comfort in knowing

you’re still curious

about my rotten charm


who is more grateful for the drawbridge

the cruise liner or the car? Or maybe the news anchor

who made & then ruined his career by

open & closing

& open

things he knew nothing about. I’m just as happy

watching the drawbridge

as I am driving over

or floating under it. Is that weird?

Simply watching? It’s just a

damn drawbridge

Justin Sirois is a writer living in Baltimore, Maryland. His books include Secondary Sound (BlazeVOX, 2007), MLKNG SCKLS (Publishing Genius, 2009), and Falcons on the Floor (forthcoming, Publishing Genius) written with Iraqi refugee Haneen Alshujairy. He also runs the Understanding Campaign with Haneen and co-directs the small press Narrow House. Justin received individual Maryland State Art Council grants in 2003, 2007, and 2010. This poem originally appeared in the Spring 2011 print issue of Phoebe.

"Winery" by Jennifer Stone

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