JEFF HIPSHER


 
 
WHAT WE CONSIDER TO BE DATA

I always confuse the weight of these cold yellow pillows
on my back, for the moss and grass and avocado

of her breasts, rubbing us into the wet field
of our bed. And the television, the refrigerator

and your gut eat that same buzz of anxiety. Like
when the sky and aluminum fences are suddenly

the same color. Or when your street is filled with
pieces of cell phone and windshield and your friend

stands there, cussing into the gutters, watching
huge boring slats of skyline crack and snap

onto the trees as ice. My dad somewhere, an attic
maybe, looking for gift ideas or old quilts or finger paintings

to console my mother with. To amend the long dry place between
Texas and Kentucky. The heavy downspouts remind me

our landlord is just a figment of my lease’s imagination, only
manifesting in the hazy confusion of shopping for groceries

or driving at night. Sarah’s hands and brain fumble with
the complex algebra of the front door’s three locks.

Her feet drag in salt, glass and frozen beetles.
 
 
 
 
CABLES TO THE SEA

We’ve seen a heat
of the Mesozoic

eat our tomatoes
and rain gutters

And so we’re inside with all this popcorn
spiked with pepper and
lemon salt

that eats our cuticles

like the coolest rub of
mentholatum

        And as the fans provide us some wooshed
sub-genre of quiet,

the television’s coaxial cable slips
out the stairs
where it meets with the Atlantic

now a rubbery sea of pewter wires
lapping at the Horn of Africa.

                                        ___

Outside,
just now,
out on my lawn,
everything suddenly became entangled
        it seems

    Houston’s sidewalks have followed us,
dragging themselves,
    by their fences,
        for days

                                    Some where in this future,
Space,
 especially that between us
is thick with citrus
 
Where all this sweat
meets those cords
somewhere in the waters
of the Mediterranean

or some annexed stream
of the southern most burbs

where her dad stands, in a birding hat
on a ladder
staring through the dense growth
of a freeway’s marooned median

right
through us

and in trying to free herself
from the steam of the butter

she lies there,
wearing only
the remote control

            as
The straight of Gibraltar changes to
a channel
full of snow
or static

Or white and black heat
boiling every television’s innards

            something she has a hard time imagining
like retiring
  or living some place
where she can only hear mother
through a phone

            vast webs of copper
spun quickly
between all our houses

where we lay
naked

on our couches

like we’ve washed our hands in orange juice
 
 
 
 
 
 



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