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Three New Poems

‘The Audit’ and ‘Red Bank’ are excerpts from Schweig’s forthcoming book, Take Nothing With You (University of Iowa Press, 2016).

 

THE AUDIT

 

Groupwise, busy
search. Start off
your week with
some cake.

 

Spatula, buy eggs.
Butter your kayak
with cake. Harvard,
Washburn. My girlfriend’s

 

son’s graduation
party yesterday.
Blackberry outage. Some
cake. (Investigate.)

 

Harvard, spatula,
my girlfriend’s son’s
party yesterday.
Busy search, blackberries.

 

The audit questions,
investigates the state
of yesterday. Question
the audit. Forkful

 

of angel. A wise group
of suits, after delays, never
came. Harvard,
margarine. Calling and calling,

 

today, all the neighbors,
utter undress, complete
disarray, I propped the door
open, which is to say

 

Washburn, kayak.
I propped my window
with an eyeglass case.
Butter your kayak, cake.

 

 

 

RED BANK

 

Deaths came out of the blue and the weather complied.
After, the sound of running water and the girls whose names

 

 

are not be mentioned. He said my disposition was a fragment. He drove
one-handed. Two rules: No complete lines. A little blood in the water.

 

 

 

EMPTINESS (CODA)

 

My brother says he can’t afford the future.
I’m living above a bakery in the city,
and a bar next door. There is no time.
Sometimes I hear music.

 

 

My lover works a shit job,
leaving early, coming back late.
My brother lives out on the shit great plains
and says he can’t afford the future.

 

 

Here, a storefront called The Essence Of Life
is open all night. What they sell,
I don’t know, always the same guy
chain-smoking out front, yelling into his phone.

 

 

(Sometimes, this is the music.) I spend time
reading conflicting theories, having doubts.
I don’t think much about the future.
There is no time for The Essence Of Life.

 

 

When my lover comes home hungry,
we prepare dinner. We take walks out by
The Essence of Life, say “hi” to the smoking guy.
(We know nothing of each other.)

 

 

My brother knows nothing of the future.
My mother is making plans for her life.
At night, over the phone, she says,
Tomorrow, I’ll start over. Downstairs,

 

 

music. There is no time. We know
nothing of The Essence Of Life
open all night, lit-up and always empty.
My brother says he can’t afford the future.

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

's first book, Take Nothing With You, is forthcoming from the Kuhl House Poets series at the University of Iowa Press. She is also the author of the chapbook S (Dancing Girl Press). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB, Boston Review, The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, Slice, Tin House, The Volta, West Branch, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.

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