Search View Archive

from Tonight This Is Our Last Song

The gas puddle twinkles like a tuxedo pressing a lever.

The catch is disabled on every pump. Maybe safety.

Maybe tax—but I didn’t order that and it didn’t arrive.

Dream about an elephant gun blowing holes in my house.

A dead memory, blind spot—why say it was a dream.

Games are no fun with cheaters. Where are the parents.

Principle of expensive experiments. Lunch in a bucket.

On a paper plate. You say it’s open; I say it’s gross.







Code-switch into my stretch mark. Spiritual life.

Do you know you are not where you said you’d be.

Had trouble imagining meals accompanied by initiative.

Your crime is the body you live in. I have no patience.

No need, defensive backstory. Where you borrow cash.

No tree, talk louder. Not afraid of jail, said the pigpen girl.

When a critter’s in the ceiling, not a bat. What kind of cop.

Invitation to hang out. Is slang pop culture. Rolling in the dirt.







He advised repetition. My knee started shooting pain.

Dead person talks, tells me how cute I am finally.

How did you die. Making poetry like bad church.

Did you know cops are allowed to lie and you are not.

Getting cuter with makeup. Leaving is not feminist.

Who says showing up is the battle. Doing is battle.

Dead person tells about dying of neglect. The crime.

It’s rapture for the trees and the people we never see.







Peephole check. I make her think of work, what a fiend.

Symptom is overactive salivary glands. Swallow hard.

Used to be lots of moms hitting kids on the subway.

Just a couple years ago. Bug guts eat at a paint job.

Worse than a harsh fabric. Dragged down the hall.

One alarm, then the other. In the nail bed, same formula.

What you scratch at. What button you punch leaving.

I’m coming to take care of it. Elevated, a jaw aches.







You pick up the glass like it’s empty but it’s not.

Surprise, no surprise. No man in the picture, the way it is.

A dangerous person passed close by, through some legs.

Eyewash or hand wash—is any he concerned with soaping.

By default I slowly drank the sun down. Taste goes dull.

The sense in depression does. New factor, saying not clean.

You have got to think for just one second more. The reason.

This unknowing, another part of my separation from social.








Like the time I almost put my gentle voice in your hand.

For me a timeline is central, but for others it’s secondary.

Suicide pacts have become less popular. Cold water snaps.

He called what I was enjoying spa music. I reached over.

Were we telling secrets. The king died and made me king.

Go to the corner to cop in bright colors. Below the tower.

Kid teaching himself the bridal march on a little keyboard.

More than one time I tried. Only a rash to show that term.







Chose glass in the mouth. Fiberglass under the nails.

Something even worse than danger. Carcinogenic paint.

Balking at turpentine. She said kids don’t want to work.

Girl is only on stage to open a door. Trigger. Bored of sex.

Bereft of. Don’t this always look like the dark available.

On the difference between it and next, soul half the name.

A store for cycling jerseys. Soul a global animal walks.

Still swagger and not fragile. She is deadass, on the block.








Without the follow-up call, see you like a lot later.

Mixing up volume and brightness. Strongly linked.

Jailed by the heart but grief flowers in mind with hard data.

Shrine outside the laundromat. Open champagne bottles.

Emotional consequence. A song people pretend not to like.

It’s Mom Rock. I have not completed that thought.

We book an old motel. When do I say he says, you say.

The reason being he shows what he means to select people.








Then, shrine down. Relocated. Shrunk to one candle.

The pilot says we have been released from our hold.

Are you telling me to stop. The right way to announce.

If the man doesn’t acknowledge, truck with absolutes.

Only I didn’t get over it I replaced it. I could sue them.

You fucked me over and told me not to write about it.

A woman threw her SUV in reverse, said to the man behind

you’d’ve been assed out, motherfucker. I got no insurance.








Krystal Languell

Krystal Languell is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Systems Thinking with Flowers, selected by Rae Armantrout as the winner of the first fonograf editions book contest. She lives in Chicago.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2014

All Issues