Connor Fisher: Two Poems for Haunted Passages

An Aphid Complex

An aphid complex emerged from
beneath the burning barn. Horses were the
prophets of agriculture. I threw a tractor over
a phalanx of shells that, in their elation,
carved elaborate, infinitesimal initials
into the desolate arena of sand.

My knife is in midair. I am juggling
the brutal levees of a drowned city. The well
reflects an image of flies woken by
the sun. They become the anointed
botanists of morning. They drift
above the shoulders of the crowd that
spans the depths of my religion. A crow and
and a resurrected steamboat
drift along the river that gushes
through the heart of a rat.

The absurd ants crawl up from a valley.

I will never eat the charred cabbage. I will
never eat the water lily. I will smoke myself at
sunset and drip away into the corner’s
follicles. Look, my finger is already deep in the
soul of the tundra. My twelve hands are a
gift; they brush the silken wool until a mound
of mantras trickles down from its swollen gland.

Under Dusk’s Worldly Shroud

Rain took the pins out of my mouth. Water
hardened. The wells had turned to metal and
crust. My mouth emptied onto wet leaves beneath
a silent tree. A woman slept inside a bureau
drawer. She broke a thimble with her palate and
recited the news. And Mozart’s toes un-
curled from the vine and flaunted a dozen
useless thorns. Their delicacy was astounding. It
mapped a meridian onto silk. These are the materials 
cities were made of. With my father, I wandered
through suburban streets. I plucked a mint
from his mouth. My neck, my neck stretched
into the pillowed neck of a goose. I wept into
the cupped palm of the bride whose only chariot
had already made its descent. She looked through me,
lovingly, with the desolate eyes of a wandering fox. As
night unrolled, she crouched into the burrow. It was
her den. It was her home, her private cathedral. Its pews 
hovered over the remains of her past self, a swan
laid to rest in the form of Saint Anthony.

Connor Fisher is the author of The Isotope of I (forthcoming winter 2021 from Schism Press) and four poetry and hybrid chapbooks. He has an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English from the University of Georgia. His poetry has appeared in journals including Denver Quarterly, Random Sample Review, Tammy, Oxidant|Engine, Tiger Moth Review, and Clade Song.

Image: arstechnica.com

What’s HFR up to? Read our current issue, submit, or write for Heavy Feather. Buy our merch. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.