Two Poems by Kyle Hemmings
When the Circus Came to Town
My absentminded father would sometimes
forget me at the circus. Scared, I became distracted
by the elephants, who never lost their way.
One time a camel broke from the line
& ate from someone’s bucket of popcorn.
That camel stole the show
& in my laughter I forgot
that my father and I were still separated.
& if love is like a circus,
that clever camel has become the silence
at the other end of my wife’s cell phone,
stealing the only item on my bucket list
& I won’t parachute into a desert
from The Pocket Guide to Existentialism for Travelers
It’s not true that everything settles at death.
mummies under mud, how we disappear like rain.
You left me with four frozen food dinners
of shrimp & scallop linguini, three bottles
of apple cider brine. I must learn to make
pancakes from scratch. Vegetables are a cinch.
Your mother’s lime futon, with its jute webbing
& flax twine, is sturdy enough for garage sales.
& there’s a boy here whom you left behind. The one
with cool blue eyes, marble-still, the carnivorous love
of a spider conch. He sits in your favorite spot on the sofa.
No longer remembering me, he forgets where you are