Jennifer Tynes

from Denominations
New Poems From the USA

 

CHURCH OF STOPPING BY THE WOODS

There were no limbs. The limbs that betray

A powerline sway-backed or encased

In blue-nosed television, their bodies

In ice, a blank patch where he stalled

Gilded, having already stripped and jumped over

His mother's car, the children's groceries

A thawing hole in the pit of the white dash-

Some venison next season, her sweetness

Rang everything off, or kept the webbed foot

Till it sagged. Turned into the dark treeline

Of the family and waited for a sign. Their shuffling

Inside the trees was a feverish symptom

Of his own mimcry, held thirty seconds in his face

A whole painted body dropping down

To cover the wreck. Fishing it out full of water

Made every dim space seem inhabitable.



*



CHURCH OF CO'COLA

A road is jerry-built, heaving polished wood.

He took me in first.

The mesh was contraband, the firecrackers black-cats.

Red circles mean think about breathing.

Ladies monitor the money-changing and circles remain.

Their oak breath, a tree in the forest.

The body is a sponge and off its rocker.

You think to lick that fit.

Arms wrapped of habit, that bird knows the rounds.

Why do you think it keeps coming back to you?

A tie makes two strings disappear.



*



CHURCH OF THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE

Shared my beard with company and look where it got me.

A night you fight makes waste.

You are better to stand in the bushes, crying out.

You only have one hand.

A proverb smokes its stacks, burns autumn leaves taut.

Why don't we have children, would they make jokes about us?

Everyone at the party was open-mouthed except the children.

I placed us outside them and I became afraid.

I love walking in the clipped evening my pantlegs all burred.

I can't remember what you said you love.

Is the man in my moon being simple?

A hand is in my mouth making teeth.