Three Poems
CJ Evans


I hear liquor and lather
and wood. I press my ear

to the bottom, and I hear
the steel, the concrete,

the inked earth below.
I attend to the slam

of the shadows of trees
and the ivy’s hum. I hear

ambulances and insects,
elements and orchards,

beyond. I listen for
the bones, but I only

hear the tide crawling
higher over the shores.

Advice for Storm

Just for today, let’s erupt the reverie
with a plosive. Play in the halation,

the emblazoned, the significant
spiral of our specific tornado.

Today, Face, let’s put on the facets
of fallen snowflakes, the skittered

legs of a young foal. Let’s escape
into mottle, be a huge and black

blossom amid all that regrettable
verdancy. Shelving the hoax of polish

and supine, today, let’s endure
as mosquito and be the unwanted

sweet at the marrow of citrus. Let’s
whir the air until the world succumbs.

Threat Level

Tonight, two moons rise,
and we don’t know what

is going to happen. We
may skip work tomorrow.

We may take our families
and head to the stocked

basements we’ve dug
to hide ourselves from

ourselves. We may
gather around radios

to hear who is responsible.
Will we kill each other?

The night is silvered, and
some of us are still out.

We are sitting on benches
and kissing under our

moons, mouths wet
with all the alluring light.

CJ Evans is the author of The Category of Outcast, selected by Terrance Hayes for the Poetry Society of America’s New York Chapbook Fellowship, and published by the PSA in 2009. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in journals such as Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, Open City, Pleiades, and Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the managing editor of Two Lines: World Writing in Translation and a contributing editor at Tin House.