Ange Mlinko

Three Poems


Like eating egg salad in the exhaust,
eating slowly.

Lowly birds like one side of a sandwich,
shunted like autumn leaves like dragons
on stilts at any approach.

Like nicotine patches like stained brick of storms.
Like blowdrying the roofs. Like extracting the heat

from headlights. Like namedrop towns
in the mountains.

Like reins dropping and a carriage stops.
Like standing in a clearing at night like
orange cones reflecting back.

Like a fašade covered with a snow of sunset
likes a massif covered in thorny serifs.

Like opening the door like turning a page,
like asking "Where is the book-size life?"

where is the outside? Like I am likened to a girl,
is the book about where I took it to, a field guide?


If transformer station then car wreck like
if cactus fruit then vendors.

Where the air compresses and rocks the whole housing,
if palm trees then beggars like if cell phones then business hours.

Like old schizos communicate by teleboutique,
the fax machine iterates You really can't sleep at night?

If at the consulates and banks getting a signature guarantee,
then at the consulates and banks refusing the signature guarantee,
like French language New York cop shows likes Algerian TV
all loneliness in banlieues.

Like turning a bowl according to its design and pitch
while not spilling the loose lavender.

Like the two-way dictionary unfolding its compass points.
Like all the town's refrigeration in one ice-cream case.

Like emptying new trash into the sublime,
if new schizos, new sublime.


Like your double in a beautiful city, leaving as you arrive
whom you never see make a place for you.

Like the haunted house
that's only hearsay, though you keep meeting people
who've seen it.

Like the snakes they draped over you in lieu of leis,
like a weird Hawai'i whose windows you
looking in, will never look out of.

Like the breeze blowing the gulls and the waves backward.
Like the will to set out in one direction and keep walking.
Like changing your mind after reading an article.

As if your double, drinking gin on a white terrace
elsewhere pays for everything.

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