Sometimes a Rash Refuses to Heal
Four poems by Erin Malone
Usually they find
the farmer, without
the earnest dog
they didn’t come
we rang the bell
it was far past time
we left our places
at the table.
our beds —
cold. We called
Weeks went by
and while we
we painted the barn
red to attract
the field of stones,
and with them
built a church
to house our grief.
That was before
it could never
takes its time
as the moths
eat the sky
into our sweaters.
When I was a girl a man in an elevator told me
monkeys pull the cables that move us
floor to floor. He didn’t know
I was connected to my body by a string.
Every night my balloon tangled
in the low forest of sleep
while a bear roared. He pushed the wind
out of his way, one claw snagging my shoulder,
a cave in front of me. To lose the bear
I disappeared into a world so dark
it held only blind things, and the sound
of a hill accumulating nearby.
Movie of the Week
The missing boy’s voice is in the static
on the phone. His family swallows the days,
bloody their heads against glass doors
without remembering. Sometimes a rash
refuses to heal. Sometimes nightmares
leave marks, blackened shells where the eyes were.
With plywood and screws they seal themselves
inside the house. They do their best, as if
they could be saved from the thing by looking
sideways — the ringing not already in them.
Erin Malone is the author of Hover (Tebot Bach Press, 2015) and a chapbook, What Sound Does It Make (Concrete Wolf Press, 2008). She lives in Seattle and is Editor of Poetry Northwest.