Asymmetry Study/Aubade with Seashells

Sarkis Antonyan

Asymmetry Study

Branches dangle their spines low
                                              they consume too much of the Sun.
I obscure
                my true face from them
                                                                              flee behind mist
                                              count which droplets give me away.
I’ve cheated
                being human before
                               drop dull razor
blades in too-thin trash liners give
                                                              my mother a papercut
                forget the sorry.
                                               When shutters dissever morning
its light jamming my collarbones
                                                                              so bitterly I coil
               inside the carpet boundary
                               a gutter-clung leaf 
                                                                              scouring breeze-
slackened concrete
                                ground draped
                                                too much ill-
                shaped exposure.
                                                               I shave my friend’s head
he wanted a fresh start
                took too much delight in the telescope
                                               its brutal render. In the morning I
                make eggs
                                to break something. Left
                                                               the shoreline nothing shiny
homecoming of mangled
                                beer bottles mistook for seashells. What gag
                wade through the day fear
the ruin
                                              holding the butterknife
                                                             too loosely over the Jif jar.
              I get home
                              push fingers out of holes
                                                             rips in the glove willful
                                              let them sag
fall void in the rubber.

Aubade with Seashells

                      after Sarah Lao

How I dangle from the pillowcase,
your gift of shells startling my palm.

Beyond—hawks wrangling cords
of lightning from the horizon. How

I forget the way your tongue lapped
into mine, how we twisted from men

shrieking out their slurs, darting into
margins. Serpentine nights on campus

where asphalt purled amid our ankles.
Every interior knew to pocket their

echoes. Even they didn’t know
an end. These scraggles of calcium

strain sick to solder into your features.
The contour drawing of your mouth

as devastating as an attic mid-
blaze. Forgive me for wanting

a lover projected across American
plainland. My walls are graffitied

with slinks of fingerprint oil.
Miles away, you are also rubbing

the crust from your eyes.
The morning is a cruel whisper.

Sarkis Antonyan is hiding a mini Kit Kat in his jacket pocket.