What the Hell is that Tapping Outside my Goddamn Window? by Chris O’Keeffe

Squirrels piling their stock up. Jamming
acorns into cracks. A noisy little
assembly. Tap.
For the love of…

Or water breaking against
a yawning leaf. Veining its dome,
countering the deluge.

Detuned drum assailing silence,
chopped by quiet. My ears
function to spite me.

A robotic high heel. Pencil
on a steering wheel. Dashboard
orders the downbeat, a padded
fingerprint polyrhythm.

Cash registers with taped bells,
ringers gauzed, leaning toward the metal
feebly declare, “no sale. no sale.”

Vermin crossing borders, switching
yards under streetlights. Fence-knocking
skulls, befriending the future, divorcing
last time, last night.

Some sort of wren? Organize yourself
down and away, bird. Your string nested,
your eggs beating against aluminum in fragile,
yoking pulses. Your wing a conductor’s
bone, feathered and gaveling
the maestro’s pit to stillness.

Ummothered child, cease and be dead.
Half-sucked lolli thocking your glass eye,
remainder of your house. Hunger North!
Or here and never out loud.

Gargoyle weeping gems.
Stone tears on your lover’s wings.

Chris O'Keeffe
Although he grew up in the woods of Connecticut, Chris O’Keeffe is a poet of the city. He writes about car horns and commuter rails. He likes bars and brunch and those bodega windows that you can buy newspapers through. His poems are often interested in sound and technology. He has previously lived in both Cambridge, MA and Astoria, Queens, and maintains spiritual outposts in both. A copywriter by day and an obscure musician by necessity, Chris and his wife, Angela, live in Salem, MA with two dogs, four bikes and a bucket of usable Wiffle Balls. He was awarded the Marcia Keach Prize in Poetry from UMass Boston in 2009.


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