Two from Black Swan Theory by Kyle Marbut

If I still believed in dawn, I’d rise to meet it. That I rise at all is nothing to do with light and everything to do with the modern discourse: gravediggers on a smokebreak under my window lament skunks run amok in the cemetery across the lawn, exhuming generations in search of their nightly grub. They’ve so uprooted the great oak who shades the mausoleums it’s begun to bow into the rooftops. Roused, I roam the aisles bedheaded in my lingerie, knocking on stained glass and caskets, waking the saints. That parade of corpses behind me, crowding, cheering. As if at any moment I might usher them into the sky crowned in sunshower, rather than offering trust-falls into a landfill. The second morning of my life I’ve been mistaken for rapture.


One way to think you’ll live forever or at least that you’re alive is eating celery soup and finger sandwiches while sprawled across a crimson sectional and revising the new atlas of the passing daytime sky. I’ve never had much patience for what’s right. I carve secret passages from the larder to the library to the well, flood the basement with a hose and toss glowsticks down the stairs, paint doors on the walls and set mirrors in all but one of the actual doorframes. More than a home, I’ve wanted a destination. To know the self not by its reflection but by its absence from the only way out.


Kyle Marbut is lying low in a blanket fort. They live in Virginia, where they write, teach, and take long walks with a lantern in the dark. Their poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Ethel, Fairy Tale Review, Poiesis, and Longleaf Review.