divine magnet





Alexis Almeida


Nothing Works (Everyone’s Praying)

Your ears were red. The air was dry. The roof was leaking. We put out a bowl. Like the sun. You were walking fast. The sidewalk jolts. The wires were down. My apartment glowed. It was underground. The air vent broke. An old woman showed up. She made us soup. She was the color of wine. My tire was stolen. The pedals snapped. Let’s go, you said. Take a walk downtown. The trees were swaying. The signals were bad. Your hand was a soreness. I ordered grilled cheese. The air was sick. The windows shook. I can’t do it on time. I imagined spinning. I imagined water, and nothing. I imagined aspens. Their steady pull. The floors were cold. I put my palms on the table. The curtains spread open. A man blocked the light with his hands.


Sung to an Empty Room

That I came here to be silent. That I can lean

On my elbows in the dark. That through you

I can hear a cello string moving, am not less of myself. That in a dream

I fell to my knees. That the stars were mistaken for Gods, then eyelids, then

Smoldering rocks. That they pull a ship. That

I can walk by without anyone noticing, that

I make sense to most people. That to mend it, we move

Away from the source. That against that there

Is a war and to be with others during a time

Of war. That two old women walked by me arm in

Arm wearing black dresses and long black scarves. That we call a body dead,

That we bury it in dirt. That sound erupted into bottles

And yellow bolts of air.

That my heater keeps me warm,

That my body loves me

In the morning, and when walking up hills.

That we ran so quickly

Down the stairs into the cold so angry with fear

So angry with fear.

That somewhere a wave is resting, that that man had

A pistol in his belt. That the poet said fragments of moon

Would be drawn into the dead man’s mouth. That before you,

Someone tried walking to mimic

The shape of thought. That we can shake out blankets

It is snowing, that we can shake blankets

In the non-existent snow.

That we can sit here watching it until morning.

It is a small thing to do.


Notes for Waking up in a New Room

Don’t think right away. Don’t move. The person

Next to you is scratching his face. Let him sleep. Rain is tapping along the outer

Edge of the wall. When you have dreams

About hurricanes breaking your windows someone is always

Sitting in the middle of it, smoking a cigarette, calm. You think this must be you,

Because no part of you reacted as the shrapnel came crashing

Through the roof. Let the guilt settle. Move away from the muted space

Of disaster. Remember red paint, the figure with her head on fire walking through grass. Say this is

Not who you are all the time. Recall the stuffy and comforting air in hotels. The sound

Of a car chase in a movie. Earlier that day, you loved being a woman,

Bleeding into the ocean for the sharks to smell from miles off. Then, a row of trees.

Nothing to call ugly in the photograph. Stand there and gape for a minute. Turn the corner

And there is infinite trash. Wade through the swampy water

A radio is playing in the eaves. Sway incautiously.

The blank space has its history. I’m going to hold you

Until the record stops. There was no sheet

When you woke up in the middle of the summer in orange sweat. Now you are you again,

In love with somber music, the dead returning in the form of

Tapering rain. Let the heat settle, close your eyes.

There is sun there is sun there is sun.