Saturday, August 24, 2013

24 August 2013

Denis Johnson [Arts Fuse]

from Denis Johnson’s The Throne of the Third Heaven of theNations Millennium General Assembly: Poems Collected and New:

Checking the Traps

the door opening, changing
into a doorway, half

the night i stayed awake and smoked
and watched the mousetraps.
the mice were there, nudging
into cups and plates, one fell

into the toaster, but escaped.
they waited until i gave up and slept to die.
for these mice
the night will be long. i heard

the iron snapping
in my sleep and dreamed my wife was
closing the door.

two mice are dead, for my wife.
mice make her legs
go watery, as they do sometimes after her climax.

one mouse’s head is barely
in the trap, one eye probing
toward the ceiling where i could tell him
there is nothing.
the other mouse is flung willingly under the iron

bar. i wonder, were they
married? was she pregnant? they are
going out together,

in the garbage this morning. it was
morning when we were married.
it has been morning

for a long time. that mouse, with his
eye. did he hear the iron snapping,
and dream it was his

wife with her stretching, laden tits
closing the door?

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