From the Lives of My Friends, by Michael Dickman

What are the birds called
in that neighborhood
The dogs

There were dogs flying
from branch to
branch
My friends and I climbed up the telephone poles to sit on the power lines dressed like
crows
Their voices sounded like lemons

They were a smooth sheet
They grew

black feathers

Not frightening at all
but beautiful, shiny and
full of promise

What kind of light

is that?
*

The lives of my friends spend all of their time dying and coming back and dying and
coming back
They take a break in summer
to mow the piss
yellow lawns, blazing
front and
back

There is no break in winter

I fall in love with the sisters of my friends
All that yellow hair!
Their arms
blazing

They lick their fingers
to wipe my face
clean

of everything

And I am glad
I am glad
I am
so glad
*
We will all be shipped away
in an icebox
with the one word OYSTERS
painted on the outside

Left alone, for once
None of my friends wrote novels or plays, from the lives of my friends came their lives
Here’s what we did
we played in the yard outside
after dinner

and then
we were shipped away

That was fast-

stuffed
with

lemons