Ersatz Lamplighter

Weston Cutter

Add rain to your amazements : next offer end
-less praise for the soft ways your body contains
its hallelujahs+lamentations : remember radio : such
waves : how as a kid you'd touch your face imagining
your hand someone else's as the Top-10 torchsong
melted you yet again : +still how each forgettable fire
of breath you take's braided :  to verse/chorus/verse
/chorus/I used to like this band before everyone else did
 : +how little first matters : how it's the singalong instinct
that carries : your voice goes here too : I need you as much
as we both need each month's lunar striptease :  these
come with me spirits we're born into : these slipstream ways
we're shaped by love : +the thought of losing what love
we've stuffed like gumwrappers in our pockets : +all
the love we can't see because we don't believe we've
earned it : plus existence : even dark shit once lived
-through : reckoned-with : is worth some shimmy : some
shake : some twist+itch to shout something : utterance
big enough to tie like a parachute to these snippets
of the infinite that bloom sudden from absolute nothing
: magnificent in their flimsiness : the way each daughter
smiled at me : six weeks old : simply because I too smiled
: or who knows : could've been gas : or those moments
I've shirked language like a sloughed-off blanket+find myself
as warm without : you know this : you've tried, too :
with lips or other instruments you've sought ways to keep
unsaying the unspeakable : impossible instants pooling
so wide+deep the rest of your life stays wet with them
: look up with me : another day : sky : gray or blue as the truth
each river's trying to enunciate : now look down : how
the ground (like any biding-time lover) plays cool tho
it longs to hold us : this is all any of us can do : tell
each other what we can : how I'll miss you soon is the sum
of sweetness each strawberry means : come clean with me
: don't you too wake hoping to find balance : all the while
never wondering if balance wants to find us : swirl of snow
as dark threads day shut : another year nearly wrapped thick
around the trunk of our hearts  : +that old electric ache
as we come again to realize we may never know what
we're here to be : say : move : believe : we dance so different
: hearts stuck on the same drumbeat : our wild softness+
doubtful wonder : our warm fragility+these hands :
so restless to make sure certain fires remain lit.

Inside the Lines

Weston Cutter

Because I have no good answer when the daughter asks why she can't
become a dolphin, and because the rainbow
is a letdown after the rain laces itself through sunlight. Because I can't
unfurl my hungers enough to become bird
+because I'm bad at gapping my heart's sparkplug+because distributor cap
wouldn't be called that if invented now.
Too political. Because meritocracy cap sounds as dumb as I do when I pretend
I can help my wife through her dark thickets.
Because some days love feels like fertilizer some days pruning shears.
Because I have no tattoos
nor cult nor radio station I write declarations into the dust on my car:
follow me, I don't know the way! Because rain
is the best coach, the sky whispering that's right, keep falling. Because I'm
determined to become stubborn as sunshine.
Because I've begun showering with my wife's soap since each day demands
diminishing the self. Because enough
with the established framework, the associative click of hearing two notes, three,
then nostalgia freights into me
like a bird into a window+I flap my wings wondering how many times
I'll be surprised by the same old thing.
Because today is to sit at the tree+listen to it breathe as it fights prying light,
its leaves keeping its limbs a requisite secret.
Because we're here to take impossible positions, holding tight onto our secrets
while we look for anyone to give them to

About the Author

Weston Cutter is from Minnesota and runs Haven Watch Co.