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Three Poems

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.