Matt Henriksen

Either Either Or

Set down her ax to scrutinize the chopping block. Far from the field the sun sang out a bucket of tallow, yellow pallor -- light aging in a glass. Branches and twigs writhing, she hinged on thorns: divine the drunken master of form. The axe made flowers open. Returning to the kitchen she was born in, the ax outside the window, was that her standing in the doorway and the house unfolding? Birds beyond the window cried the glass. The yard was a song at each edge, and all's edges edging.

New Sparrow, New Sorrow

Moon burnt up in a tree limb's wobble. Heaven's sort of nimble. Not to want the origin of light, to want its myth. To want the stroke across the jaw without the fist. Went walking among unplotted ways. Made maps to joy. Waited near birds. Liked haloed fury made of things. Foraged through the brain, begot a bird. Her throat the bird nested in a lion's jaw, her heart the dark throb about, say, stars, said the image. Then climbed into a blink splayed amid the eyelids and places eyelids made.

As the nude composite wishes for heat without violence

I wept lost amid the wallpaper's mimicked church garden. I taught harmonies to wires. The buzzing grew less distant, and least unto myself I cried, The complicity of the whole belongs to the choked mouth's consent. A box goes on forever. Set on a rail, a box becomes a sky. There's a blanket underground I understand. Constellations freeze on the eye of the dog chained to the metal post I hammered home.


The drift of horses magnifies the dust of dusk. Owls condole the house with a dead wench. I made a whisper to make her body blink. Her fingers rooted upon unnamable waste. Her spine wound like a spire out of time, contorted unclimbably. A sickness grew out of my love, so I loved her sickness and spoke in terms to make it grow. I grew sick of repetition and so my love. My love fell into the sickness of her well. I fashioned a bower to keep out birds. I feigned company and spoke in shades. Pretending to hear her, I cried invisible sky. I begged her back but brambles she became. I shooed the last blackbird from her limbs and brushed the snow off her torso.

Numb with fish-song

The skin's bag of mirrors thought a form, a waiting, even out of light a color, and a wing. Beneath the bridge they said God's formless stalking was only a stalk foaming grace. Desire in the after became a blind and through blindness brought back sight, weighted in haze, an anchor against a tide forgotten under a bridge, virtue named loss and insufferably bound to a pine's bark on a branch shaking in the cold. What, if not love, is letting loose? Grouse climbed and so insinuated.