Written in Glass are Four Solutions to the Problem of Nothing

********My Dream of Grave-Robbers|Your Dream of Swimming|Juliane Koepcke Falls from the Sky|The Piano

[November the sixth: The Black Island would be, if it were, the crypt inside a zero.]

You’d like the silk of me to say: I will carry you in my mouth, Sheriff, to the mirrored
carriage I’ve polished to throw light against the grave-robbers. They dine in a fog
bank that crawls across a bluff and the beaks of its ducks. Nearby, our emerald

air-space passes its time as a respirating chandelier. Don’t tell me this isn’t
anything. I have held unequal in my lungs the copper octaves of sand,
and amber at my stair-rail, a salamander takes the place of six o’clock lace.

[October the eighteenth: The Black Island rises from the liquor of one’s retinas.]

I salivate your sleep: I’ve seen, by day, the turpentine that rings the moon, heard
in an iceberg the musculature of a diamond, and have known my face-transplant
will always be haunted. Were a locomotive driver lost today to the undertow

of coral snakes that wakes you: imagine the mansion’s crystalline birdcages,
imagine a brontosaurus asks you to prom, imagine you could walk in silence
underwater. The bees will see your toenails scrape the light of a public pool.

[June the first: The Black Island lodges a cult committed to the fragrance of asphyxia.]

Inside its aperture, a land-snail is lying to the camera lens. An aphid’s peephole
in the jungle canopy lights armfuls of luggage in the trees, the three corpses still
seated: her mother buckled in, a bodybuilder, and the atmosphere in hobnail boots

that dangle. Overhead, the window on the altimeter carries off the exact likeness
of Juliane, the only survivor of the flight from Lima. It is New Year’s Eve, when
lianas uncoil from the goat-headed moon, its flight the flock of nitrates on an eyelash.

[May the ninth: The Black Island is self-conscious; someone watches from its sleep.]

In vision hides your most brittle veins: nearest its middle nests a mummified ibis
whose flight-feathers imply the ellipsis of myrrh into myopia, and at its periphery,
a mother’s glassine thumbprint roosts at the church door. Remember her maiden

name as yellow-jackets cascade from the eaves and from the names that eaves shade,
when the bedroom is papered awake with the day passing by, her eyelids heavier
than the piano keys that wait for her in the sea-spray at the edge of the known world.

[March the third: The Black Island lies in bed awake, the waves crest, the waves fall.]

*

Matthew Reed Corey lives in Chicago, and recently completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he won the AWP Intro Journals Project Prize and the Paul Carroll Award in Creative Writing. His poems have appeared in the Massachusetts Review, Crazyhorse, DIAGRAM, Artifice Magazine, and elsewhere.

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