I’m Into You

It’s sudden to look at someone

sitting in their car looking back at you, me

in my seat, watching traffic, napping.

No hurry, no end.

In some cities and towns,

you gotta go outside and sweat to smoke.

I look up the formula for making the baby sleep,

I listen from the other room

to the baby asleep, play toy games

with my books and go outside not to smoke.

Crisp clean night like

a sheet full of small starry holes,

you are the blanket across the baby’s heartbeat,

the echo of a night depository that calls:

Go outside and deposit

night in this envelope

of sleeves, my arms open, wrapped around

Your metal handle, pulling down, I let it slip.

Later, the sun’s forehead sweats,

the ocean retires into herself,

tired but awake with eyes, a mouth

that gapes, gasps, and endlessly emits. 

You become the sound of everything

filling the room.  I’m smoke into you.

Starry Night

I fell asleep and asleep again.

I was asleep in sleep, the empty bladder

of sleep swaying

a hammock of truth, which was not the truth.

My body burned a landing strip,

a field of moths gathered

as pigskin kites with low wing wisps,

the littered light of communion. 

The body of Christ fell upon me in pieces,

sails of Icarus scallops

with air like lungs below the crucifix

bleating starry night.

I fought that kiss,

a torture that raises epidermal hairs,

antennae turning dream’s

correspondence into the same

human-shaped faces

that look back into us. 

The iris, the lips.

We barter with shadows an inner abyss,

our deep-nosed roses diving

to cradle the taste of fire,

the falling into an empty bladder of sleep.

I am jealous of life.

I am life’s custodial emission.

If you listen,

an avocado tastes like time

has survived the telegram and corresponds

with sands that build

technical vertebrae between us;

we’re shaped the same as spinal grenades.

The material sign of safety pins

fastens survival as an open mouth gash,

a tiny blood seed of beneficial

numbness unto all that exists.

Awake, the artist blooms at the Hotel du Day:

we rose and moved around

a room painted midnight

with food from our resting hymns.

Every body rends his own

fairytale in fault lines.

We sketch such horizons, bodies with moths

mossing life on heated surfaces,

lips that line space where our inner eyes

green and hollow the skies

for the bruise of purple destruction. 

Pull the cord now, re-live atomic bomb hues

as photograph, not landscape,

the world exclaims.   And so we exist next –

I could touch the entire blue earth

with my mind’s swinging wings,

if by fragility our suspended sky

blew into the bulb of the surviving universe. 

Amy King's most recent books are Slaves to Do These Things (Blazevox), and forthcoming, I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press).  She is preparing a book of interviews with poet, Ron Padgett, teaches English and Creative Writing at SUNY NCC, works with VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, co-edits Esque with Ana Bozicevic and co-edits Poets for Living Waters with Heidi Lynn Staples. Please visit for more.


Amy King -

Esque -

Poets for Living Waters --