Marc McKee


At this time it is impossible not to love
at least one monster.  Venom laces the air,
you are in a house with

the feeling of every light in every room
turned on and so to turn them off
is to discover again and again

what makes a house.  In this land
where the couches wax voluptuous, it takes
but a broken cup to make celebration lisp

into curse.  I know no more the shards
tearing through the soft convoy vehicle
outside a city that seems eaten

than I know what is in the bag
the woman stares endlessly into on the bench
as the wind picks up the sharp dust.

Still.  I have these eyes, this laboratory
for a head—.
                                We are led to believe always

that each house there breaks apart
and the rooms scatter horribly.
The rooms are shatter darkened, they are close

and they are cold.  You must be careful
trying to walk into them.  The way
they have been torn from trying

to hold on to each other
can carve from you in garish ways
what you need to walk out of them.

It is difficult to bring someone breakfast
in bed under these conditions—
almost nothing lives.  Mercy,

one cries out in the night,

Marc McKee is the author of What Apocalypse? (New Michigan Press, 2008), Fuse (Black Lawrence Press, 2011), and Bewilderness (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), as well as the collections Consolationeer and Meta Meta Make-Belief, forthcoming in late 2017 and early 2019, respectively, from Black Lawrence Press. His work appears widely in journals that included, most recently Conduit, Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, H_NGM_N, Laurel Review, Memorious, and Rockhurst Review. He teaches in Columbia, MO, where he lives with his wife Camellia Cosgray and their son, Harold.