Chris Dombrowski

Get Up, John

Here comes dawn and nothing rosey
about her fingers, nothing to suggest
gender whatsoever—stove-flame
blue and some hand must’ve turned
the burner on: the little tongues
licking, gradually, the teapot of us
aboil, cooking off a giardia
of stars, the dregs of our night-
mares. Who will place his fingers
in the nailmarks, come near enough
to smell death in its hair? Already we’ve
some of us slid back into our bodies,
restirring the air our breaths stirred
all night—whoever we are while
we sleep—and gone about believing
we are here. Ambulance sirens
assure us, a plum’s sour skin, what’s become
of the poppies, dried all but greenless,
etcetera. But the yearling child
reaching into the lineaments of sun
lancing between his crib bars—how might
this shame us, that they seem
to seem graspable to him?


Chris Dombrowski