Moveable parts

by Allison Carter

Hola amiga, Elizabeth,
let’s go into town

Haven’t had brunch for days since a
fire broke out in town

The fire-dead are empty eggshells
and Elizabeth and I feel light

Or is the river dry
Or can I not fly

Eggshells at the table at brunch we
gossip, we order more than we can eat

Elizabeth is through with spooking
on the idea of a nice home

Elizabeth has made a bid on a nice home and
it is located

Up in the trails above where we live
Down by the tracks below where we live

Over in the hills East
North and West of where we live

 

Hola amiga, Elizabeth,
my very good friend

It’s your 29th birthday and the wind smells like
oranges, liquor, oleander,

eucalyptus branches stored in a trunk and
it smells like other 29-year-olds moving, emitting

enough to cut through a lonely mutter that’s
struck up on the Mexicali breeze.

Does that nice?
It pregnant

We haven’t gone there (Mexicali) yet
(no reason but stellar arrangement

I got anxious about the brakes kept hearing)
that , that

Where’s my mother
Where’s my father

Where’s my brother
Where’s my school

like it’s broke. Don’t you have one too?
Wait, do I know you?

 

Up in the trails above where we live
Down by the tracks below where we live

Over in the hills East
North and West of where we live

a familiar bird with young man face is making
that karaoke

singing:

where’s my mother
where’s my father

where’s my brother
where’s my school

where’s my plan gone
where’s my sleep gone

where’s my youth gone
where’s my cool

 

Meanwhile I was
Sitting at the bar with Elizabeth

in the new building
thinking, I shouldn’t be here,

I should be working!
This bar was tended by time-travelers.

You could order anything – you’d get
oleander liquor, I ordered lemonade

but it came oleander liquor
and now my throat was shutting

And right then, who should walk in but
the half man half house

holding his own key
and playing with string

And his grass looked trimmed and his
new furniture was facing East

and I learned that what was true of you is also true of me now
and I learned that what was true of me is also true of you now

When he ordered a whiskey it came
oleander liquor and the town was shrinking

Orange sun setting behind
the white building and shadows

 

That was encroaching, polite but
firm. All mouths & time

save the building’s mouth.
He covered with a story

about a party he crashed,
a famous stable that later burned down.

His mouth pursed to reveal his trumpet flower
His eyes faded into the background. Now he

hoots on through the darkness
trimming to grow on his own now

and his son
(he later had a son)

trimming in the mirror
to grow on his own now

where’s my mother
where’s my father

 

Every day it’s something – termites
Abandoned mug in the ledge

Fake doctor knocking
New lemon tree

and plane ticket East
where’s my brother

where’s my plan
I miss my bird

I miss my Elizabeth
You miss your me

I miss us terribly
the lantern at the horizon

I miss us terribly
the airplane into the blue

I miss us terribly too
Where haven’t you gone yet

No ablo Espanol, ablo
Ingles y French

Never been to Montana yet
Inside a house on a pile of rugs

Diagonal light through the window slats
Doesn’t see / of running water

Can’t see steam / under water can’t
hear footstep or not / creaking or not