Marcus Slease
If You Must Sing
New Poems From the USA

The old know spectacle.
Hobble. Miniature sneezes. Bubble eyes.
Elongated ear that fails to bring more clarity.
We’re usually dying
but when we’re not . . .
Oh yield sign. Oh quiet sign among
rose bushes. Funnels help us pour
into small mouths.
Perhaps you’re not sure when to scream.
Perhaps you’re already screaming.
Either way the wind promotes a lean.
Oh brittle vegetable skin, oh dimes
spinning around the rim of the sink.
If you must sing a hymn do not hum.
Sing like a man with beetles in his belly.
Sing like an artichoke heart drowning in butter.
Sing like a bone in a pot full of soup.
Sing wingdust in low French, sing ghost
in balsamic, sing roadkill in Russian.