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?