Two Poems: King of Pop and Homeopathic

Christopher Salerno


Got to be starting

             some thing. My father used to
                                 catch and
minor birds with butcher twine.
              Revise each one to be
more beautiful.
                       Some birds remind us
                        only of before

                                    we began
                        to disambiguate
              the possibility of flight:

     Too high
to get over. Too low
              to to get under—
                                      this must be what
                          every boy hears.

Climbing the stairs
             in my underwear
             and cape—
                         I was young
                                     I was trying
to buy the world
            a Coke.

Father, why can't I help?
            Fly off, he'd say. Carry your
    jinxes to the field.



Because the Dali Lama 
             has a weakness
                          for wristwatches
he has to make time 
for presence. People
             rise out of the hour
of day they love.

I like how loudly the pink
                      azaleas bloom
           the cambered pine.
How my eyes auto-
            tune each blade
of grass into "the grass,"
                        even though a field
is more orchestral.

This sounds
like a line, but the deer
                        skull lying in the
            briars contains a hive.

Take no fruit there!
Pretend it's November:
                       zero butterflies
             from the Audobon guide,
no bats flying
over our rooftop antenna.

Love, they say,
            will free itself 
                       from insistence
as we hazard our way
out of this world's weeds

into the vast field
                       of ellipses
            under our feet
             as we put one hour
in front of the other.