ONCE UPON A BREAKFAST
after Sidney Goldfarb’s “Moving Breakfast”
I get out of bed early like a god. I give my daughter something bookish for breakfast. First I let her sip some whiskey. Then she begins her memoir: Chapter One: “Now life was easy with fun-filled times.” (Below, she draws a girl with dollar signs for eyes.) I look into the mirror and say, “Chris, you’re no Jesus.” I’m called outside by the skyline. Chicago is a wall of circling pigeons. Then I hear those mad winds over Lake Michigan, a rushing sound bearing down. And the sky like a terrible big blue mother rushing over with open arms. So I yell up to my daughter, “Sweety! Chapter Two: Remembering childhood pain!” And she answers back, “You just ruined it. You ruin everything!”
HOW HARD THEY TRY
after Frederico Garcia Lorca’s “Death”
How hard the mountain tries to become the wind. How hard the wind tries to become a flame. How hard the flame tries to become a mountain. And the mountain, how it pretends not to notice the moon’s secret moves, what a torn moon rising from its mirror. And the moon what a ghost of surf and dreams locked in the gold distance of its dress. And the distance, what roses it collects in its hair. And the roses, what a star without towers, what presence, quick and blazing remains they scatter down. And I, on all fours, what a shadowy dog I look for and am. But the climbing sky, how soft, how unbearable, how swift, without even trying.
CHRIS GREEN is the author of four books of poetry: The Sky Over Walgreens, Epiphany School, Résumé, and Everywhere West (forthcoming from Mayapple Press, 2019). His poetry has appeared in such publications as Poetry, The New York Times, Court Green, Prairie Schooner, and Columbia Poetry Review. He’s edited four anthologies, including I Remember: Chicago Veterans of War. He teaches in the English Department at DePaul University.