MAGRITTE'S GOLCONDA AS TREATISE ON POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER I
Another kingdom in ruin that doesn’t know it yet.
No rustle of coattails. No echo of footsteps.
No murmurs, no car horns, no breeze—
only the sweet scent of Brylcreem and a deluge of men
on the city skyline: a dark fog of suits
bowler hat after bowler hat, levitating
as if rain stopped midair. They tuck pocket watches
into waistcoats, shift valises from one hand to the other,
begin to tap their Wingtips on thin air.
Everyone has somewhere to be.
Below, people bump into walls.
In a fit of confusion, men forget how to read
the sky, how to read their lover’s face.
They slosh dirty vermouth, smoke cigars,
stumble into dark apartments, and sleep
beside strange wives.
At sun-up, barbers sharpen razors on leather strops,
frowning at the knotted weir of sky above them.
MAGRITTE'S GOLCONDA AS TREATISE ON POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER II
In this dream a barrage of men leaden the sky
as if dropped from a squadron of kittyhawks
a horizon of trench coats spitshined valises
In this dream rainslick men
in gray flannel suits disappear behind a smoke screen
of cigar fog drowned out by the clamor of stenographers
In this dream the dream disappears
the dream detonates the dream loops
the dream sleeps underground
THIS BODY FIXED IN PLACE
Woman as granite as poppy hillside sharp as grassfire
quantum shimmer blurred edges
an indigo study of blue of violet of blue
woman as fog on water as nebula as chalcedony
willow bark tincture hazel catkin
For you I take vows in the abbey of restraint
I stay staying still
an oak on oak savanna I walk towards
open I open I keep opening keep keeping
H.K. Hummel has published two chapbooks, Boytreebird (2013), and Handmade Boats (2010), as well as poems in a variety of journals such as Iron Horse Review, Booth, Flyway, Meridian, and Antigonish Review. She founded the literary journal, Blood Orange Review, and she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of poetry at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.