When I Look at Your Face | A Time Slightly Further in the Future



poems by Alex Schmidt

When I look at Your Face

Smack me in my Margaret
thighs. The switching of body parts
with like parts from women

does nothing for my style. Pumps
and tights rolling into the night
like a star impudently loosened

from the sky. Wait,
what are you? Is your mother a Hagfish?
Are you made of Lincoln Logs?

You must’ve been raped.
I was never raped, you know. But I did
have friends who were.

And it was many years ago
in my study that I played with Lincoln Logs,
part mahogany. I would build

cabins that looked
like humans, and snarl at the dark scent
that turned inside them.

When I look at your face
I see a mutilated crab from the restaurant
of a Bruce Springsteen song. Ugh,

look what you’ve made me say. Now
Kool-Aid is filling your eyes,
causing my aesthetics to cringe.

Don’t even bother a rag.
Go trade with a gorilla
or ebb or perish

or something. This is too
profound of a matter to involve someone
as lollypop as you.


A Time Slightly Further in the Future

The blood in my torso
is beginning to annoy,
and I must

reclaim my senses
before it’s too late.
The buildings have begun to absorb

us, and the furniture,
the paintings, all seem to have stretched
slowly into clouds.

Oh wow, what if heaven
is a lion’s mouth.
Its teeth

pressing into my brain,
and the neon black
serpents of its gangly gums

spitting stultifications.
Wait, I think Goya also mentioned
death is done. We’re just

gasses with varying degrees of smells
is what my lawyer quoted when his neck
was already full of windows.

He never looks me in the eyes.
I better scrape my back
against a tree

before they melt into old wallpaper,
before the air
sides with my apartment,

before my body
sides with absence. Please,
feeling, don’t go.