Thomas David Lisk


The blisters broke. Everything around the heart pine looked dirty.
A letter addressed key issues, but the key never fit the lock.
Issue-thin it was so hard it turned against the tumblers.

After the door opened, we wondered why it was unlocked,
while other key observers looked beyond the opening
and saw deficiencies in the maple floor, the surface,

which, as far as we could tell, was perfectly sound,
though betrayals are everywhere you look, if you look in the right places.
It should, however, be easy to look away, at trees, at

cloud shadows, unblinded windows,
the pack of snarling dogs
running toward you from the other side of the parabola.

Intelligence Is a Miracle of Desire

They came to the good city, she on a bicycle and he in stranger’s shoes, seeking silk,
          salt sauce, plantains, and many foot-bound volumes.
They met in an urban library, where she had made long tunnels and he had visited or flown over.
She loved her teacher, whose name was tongue/ tongue/ tongue/ in a different tongue.
He liked to, for juxtaposition and a change of state, think of mangos.

They made love on the yellow linoleum of an apartment he never visited.
He thought it was love.
She never said.
The room was full of black and orange silk dragons woven under mulberry trees
           in some gone dynasty or khanate.
Paris was a glossy black caution sign.

The first time they met she could hardly see over the wall.
The first time they met in earnest he smelled foreign.
She couldn’t breath, but that wasn’t the reason.
Would you pour a silk-black cat down your throat?

Prowling joy was sleek, was black, transcendent.
The day she left, she laughed near nervous tears and poked him twice on the arm.
He thought, I am your dog, greet you with leaps.
Their tongues touched, though they never touched.

about the author


13.1 (Fall 2008)   The 2River View