“and even you forgot those brilliant flashes seen from afar” -Ruth Stone

Ben Mirov

Wild Blue Fog

Sometimes you spend years searching
for the perfect words

for your apology.
And sometimes it takes

only a few moments
before they come to you

out of the blah blah blackness.
And sometimes you lash yourself

to a sapling
to keep from jotting a single word

in the silence between you
and the one you’ve wronged.

You only get one chance
to sing the Wrong Song.

And you can Nebuchadnezzar enough.
You know what I mean?

Better forget about it.
Return to your lugubrious work.

Carving a human brain
from a you know what.

No Zipper on the Pain-Suit

Rose after rose after rose
behind the bullet proof glass

in the Museum of Open Wounds
begins the poem

to another ex-lover.
But blood is never the answer.

The answer is cephalopod,
which corrects itself with ink

before it disappears.
Please respond to my last transmission.

Flashing lights in cerebellum.
Oxygen levels dangerously low.

Is love a moth with hypnotic wings
that sucks out your brains

with its question mark proboscis?
One needs only partial knowledge

to be a match.
But to be 100 matches? Yes.

Now, that’s a job
for a broom like me.

Working all night in the Plum Blossom Factory
mopping up the hemoglobin.

The hemoglobin pulsing
through the flagellum.

The flagellum that augers the rose.
Get down on your knees

in the grass and search
for the diamond stud

that fastens the golden bud
to your beloved’s lobe.

Love is a dream of fastening.
Everyone dreams alone.

Childhood

First you must locate it.
Then you must approach it
with a fresh pencil.

Headphones off.
Totally aware of your shortcomings.
Zebra stripes. Sleepless nights.

What’s left of the ember
is never pretty. Some rosy gauze
hung about a broomstick.

I surrender.
Rhymes with render.
But first you need to make a smoothie

filled with bitter green knobs
and some kind of powder
that promises to turn bacteria

into light.
Then you can continue whooshing
the skeleton grocery cart

across the desolate parking lot
with nothing but your breath.
On Tuesdays, Sarah helps you

remove relics from your chest
and stare at them in disbelief.
Not a bearded ocean god

twirling his trident.
But a chunk of ice
mistaken for a planet.

Not the ball-pein father
lodged in the Terminator
pinball machine. A delicate network

of fiber optic lies.
The nest of a common orb weaver.
Asking the mirror

to speak with the prisoner.
Exactly! says Sarah
five miles into your jog

in the center of your lotus
where it doesn’t matter
if you’re a poltergeist

or fast asleep,
which reminds you of your childhood
but in a healthy way

that gives you wings
to fly away from it.
Until you’re exhausted.

Or the wings are melted.
And you have no choice
but to return to terra firma

where you started.
It’s like that with your childhood.
You dream until you’ve lost it.

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Benjamin Yoshimitsu Mirov is the author of ghost machines, Hider Roser, and GHOST MACHINE. His most recent chapbook is A Few Ideas from My Blackbox. He grew up in Northern California and lives in Oakland. Read more

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