Michael Grinthal

For God Tina God Tina God Tina Either One

The taste of an orange, changed by thunder
Hens hop around like hail on cars

Everybody big huge hops now. Day 
You’re allowed to get darker now

Parts of us will be realer now
For example the tongue

Might crack what with the trying
The rain is a statue of our trying

Whittled by lightning
The frozen sparrows

That we are locked outside of
Analgesically trying

Not to know about largeness
Ours or the earth’s

Turning we’ll never believe in. No
The rain cares for us, and the thunder

Copies the way that we all talk at once
She throws down her pompoms. She shivers 

It’s amazing and we resume our insisting
Each Each Each

There’s too much night. It’s bananas
One of us is god. The birds

Lodge their leaving in the muscle of our throat
It was already there. Failure

Failure failure
Like the starlight dangles

In the apple trees and the laughter 
Of the cars passing

An exact thing is happening
Everywhere but here

It’s the first morning 
Of any season. One of us is alive

The Pretend Funeral of Kara

          children bury each other
          children, bury each other
So we lay your quarreling bones
down by the quarreling water

clean now weak and necessary
Stolen sheets as white as thunder

The highway’s long noise   
Lie down

on the dynamited stone
It’s easy to be dead

when you’re pretty
Difficult to decay

into beauty
I’m hungry

and the songs of my feet are clean
which is like heaven 

if you can believe
in that morning 

where there’s nothing to do
except wait in its terror

which is like heaven
Dirt falls across your cheek like curls

the tiny wildnesses 

by the service road
the little town built around

the missingness in moonlight
and the burned down asylum 

everyone goes to
now to grope

almost a road through each other
The heavenlike 

dilemmas   Boxcars

The floundering of the Passaic
It’s different here

from death since everything is 
forced to be but this

less   I’m last to speak
The others said everything 

I meant except
the very small

and made of grass
I’m the stranger you kissed

Michael Grinthal’s poems have appeared in Jubilat, The Los Angeles Review, Figure 1, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Mary, and other publications. He lives in Brooklyn NY and has worked for 23 years as a community organizer and lawyer in the racial justice and tenants’ rights movements. He has worked for 10 years as a parent and 49 years as a child.

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