Post Road Magazine #10

Two Poems by Alex Lemon

Below the Nearer Sky

The goldfish spins, fan-tail
spread like fingers on fire.

It fast-forwards for days—
Figure-eights a whirling fury

that spills. Everything is forgotten.
It burns, a lightning-struck barn.

Its silken flesh unfurls, ribs
shine like a whittled moon.

But skin knotted into ruin
can’t stop it: the staccato jazz

your fingernail flicks don’t help.
It will never quit, you think,

until the summer morning
it’s found belly up in murky water,

still as a town ravaged by storm.
The fishbowl shimmers dark, golden

as if, in your absence, the heavens
crawled—packed stars cellophane tight;

waiting for you to shake off your impossible
dreams and bow to that half-whole reflection.


After Charles Baxter


In the dark, I count fingers,
Watch lightning spider
Over the mountain’s toothy peaks.

All the while, the cupola grows
Cloudy with accidents—
Dark blossoms sticky and wet,

Clinging shadowy with reincarnation.
Yesterday eight and now, eleven,
Memories distilled, frayed.

The neck-breaking spiral
Of this morning’s junco
Landing on a gnarled fence,

A surgeon’s fingers tapping
His way through afternoon sleep,
Breaking a heart into ballet

Or the several postures of pain
A body makes falling unconscious
In the bathroom while violins roar

On a television straining with blue
Light. The fatigue of healing
Interrupted by the susurrus

Of an empty shower. An ear, blood-
Smeared cheek and bit lip—
A sterile, sweating tiled floor.


Alex Lemonís poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Cimarron Review, CutBank, Indiana Review, The Journal, New Orleans Review, Pleiades, Salt Hill, Sonora Review, Swink, and Washington Square, among other literary journals. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the

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