Two Poems by Noah Warren







I came across
a not quite pond
off the fence trail.

Drowned trees stood
or leaned together
like broken teeth.     

Under the dusk
the surface
of the pond shone black. 
I climbed in,
drawing the water
across me like a cloak. 









Twenty days,
three weeks, and it would vanish,
or I would, from it—I felt
a tearing
in my chest
as each day passed     
through me—can I hold on
to this room another month, will some money
trickle through?
Some ideas came to me,
but they were bad;
my nerves tightened

as I rustled through the apartment
I knew I would lose, fingertips
lingering on
my books, the bright little implements
I had bought for the kitchenette,
my mother’s face, 
my copper vase. 

The walls of that room had become my skin.

Imagine how long I paused, how stupid
I felt when I had to pause with a soft
potato in my left hand, a peeler in my right, 
until I could plant its ploughsharish blade
firmly in that flesh beginning to
nurture eyes, until I could
slide it toward me.         

After money came or before—
the difference to me!
but I can’t remember—
I crept up to my hole after drinking,
undid bolt, lock, entered, blinked:
all my windows trembled. 

It became slowly clear the two-room
above me was blasting the Eroica. 
I put my palm to a pane— the glass slab
throbbed like the heart of a deer
then was still, then throbbed.  

I dropped my hand, sat cross-legged, and looked up. 

I hoped that apartment was full of friends
nestling together or sprawled on the floor
with cups of cheap merlot, and some
had closed their eyes for the funeral march
and were humming along like me.