Matthew Langley

From Flora & Fauna


For its journey into

the mirror an image

must be the motion

of an afterlife, a wire

in the rose. On the out-

side of it is what

the audience cries out

for, calls it poetry

and games the dead.

You call it god and are

satisfied. Knowing a trick

has been played.




Beneath the night

                                                and its threads the        

                                                peace of vaults, of

                                                barely horizons.

                                                Here, safe as you are,

                                                lean             lean.

                                                And the air will move

                                                over you as if moving

                                                were nothing.

                                                Is this extraordinary?

                                                Yes and no.




There is not an owl,

a moon, a slickly ripe

fruit, or a light

to interpret. Only

the single image, half-real,

untrue, kept

from us in the edge there


history or geometry.

We tell it

the most we can say about

a thing is that either it

stays or it


be loved; our

hearts merely

chemical and afraid

of ghosts.