July Poem of the Month — Andrew Wessels


An Older J.A. Sitting on the Covers in a Tropicana Guest Room Watching
a Re-Run of Bones & Praying

Give me the strength to walk Heaven
across the casino floor with the strength
of the room attendant carrying my cheeseburger and beer.
I watch myself in the ceiling mirrors trace seams
on the bedspread. I should be decorated with flowers.
How does it matter whether I sleep?
The mountains outside the window surprise me, turn
to watch my friend walk into the bathroom
his towel dropped to the marble floor.
Now all is different without having changed.
When I will be that: hard
like the daisy and white like the stone.
When I will be the cleanliness of picked bone.
In the end there was fire and in fire the whiteness of bone.

Where the young man is now, pushing
more grilled steaks up the service elevator
or taking his break at the slot machines in the next hotel.
Now all is different without having changed.
Mud on the shoes leads to the beginning
what we find in the end. The body was mummy
in a funhouse discovered by a boy. Look me<
into this death, discover the reason, explain me
into a report. Write me into the words of this world.
Anything happened. We are beautiful
in the mirror. Wool-dyed flowers. Plastic flowers. Plastic
flowers. The original cover peels back
a scented sock. The fast-moving station car.
Call me this man in a room, bones, as if he knows I am watching.

Andrew Wessels splits his time between Istanbul and Los Angeles. His poems, translations, and collaborations can recently be found in VOLT, Witness, Fence, and Colorado Review. He is the managing editor of Les Figues Press and edits the poetry and poetics journal The Offending Adam . This poem was previously published in Handsome, Vol 4 Issue 1. Photo by Zeliha Sahin Wessels.