Popcorn, Karlen Lambert
I remember the motorcycle gang
At White Sands—
They pawed the dust
Searching for something they couldn’t yet speak of
In the data fields of
They traced a scent in their mirrors
And in the chrome of their tailpipes
—A long ride into the
From Telluride or Salt Lake City
In cold hardware and airbrushed leather
I thought eventually I’d be one of them
A member of the familiar bullet train
In a chambered heart, but they sped away like a fraying pack
Of charred sablefish
I was a creature of the strip
As I would continue to be
—a quiet patron to the saintly vendors
Who sold lime-tinted aviators
And tortillas in tin foil
To the real housewives of Dallas
Who sold Mexican switchblades and fish tanks
In all sizes
Who laughed in fractured Spanish,
Over the din of the national missile range
—that echoes over the
Satellite radio system of a luxury motorcycle
Like some imploded homeland security
The bullet train,
The feeders of the gypsum sands
Violet relayed a dream of a great swimmer:
A swimmer, a rescuer of the Salve Regina
A swimmer who speaks on hinges
Who floats lightly around a picture frame
The same way one might watch a body explode in slow motion
Or sit opposed, as you pull everything apart.
Separation—some years ago, El Paso
Violet says there was somebody else in the room:
When you wake, a tall man dressed in drag is sitting
In a dark velvet chair across from you
Telling you how beautiful you are, over and again.
And for comparing prices here…
Is it a dullness that drives pitchforks beneath your nerves?
Separation—before we knew about cell division.
Violet was running, somewhere in the heat plains
A tireless mirage in the midseason
Running by, green light through stained glass.
Sometimes pre-dreams are the stones of a Spanish cathedral
Sometimes the lungs skate circles until they fold.
If you stick around, the man in the velvet chair will even play the piano.
Hallucinations are just like airport romance novels:
Violet looked for Chamberlain, the old man, in a field in Marfa
The great swimmer, dressed in maroon drapery
Who left bent car frames in a gallery
Who shows cuts, inversions, blanks, fakes
There are various intonations of the heart—it’s a resonant vacuum
This is a palace of hyper acoustics.
The various intonations—of automobile parts
Of stained glass, blackened lipstick, or navy velvet.
They are only frequencies.