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"Meteor," a poem by Joseph Langdon


Could I erode

that ridge

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between rib

and hip

the fluids

the cells

the squelch of organs

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cannot exonerate


It is not this body

you erase

each incarnation

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beyond touch

beyond retribution



There was a meteor shower

the Orionid


One flashed

between the flick of lighter

and cigarette tip

an ember

streaking home

its others all swallowed

in the gloam of pool

and night-light palm


I want to be the kind of man

who leaves the city

to see a meteor



The embalmer

sets our skin

behind museum glass

the organs warm

set out for the hounding

street dogs


they revise

strong sound


to scrap

not a murmur

a whimper

or nothing



I want to be the kind of man

who leaves the city

to see a meteor


All our Orionids

are swallowed

in my breath

if I could nourish


I might show you

their gleam again


I would cure them

behind museum glass

I would score them out

and hang them back


I want to be the kind of man


Joseph Langdon will be one of four poets — the others are Dawn-Michelle Baude, Jamison Crabtree and Erica Vital-Lazare — who read their work during "Poetry in the Dark" at The Writer's Block, 8p, August 27. The poets will read in complete darkness. Reserve your seat at