Still Life with House on Fire by Natalie Eilbert

Beautiful men in their plastic cases wilt
and bend. The sign above their bodies
break. The sign read Here lies here lies
but it was too late. Because it was too late.
The femur I touch is warm. The joke
about running away from Death
at the market is more that
Death would choose to speak at all.
I dream all the time of a man not saving me
and I lick deliciously at this dream.
When I lost my entire life to a fire
I mouthed the things I still was.
My poverty was not disgusting, I wore
it until little holes shook its materials.
Beautiful men in their plastic cases wilt
and bend. I visit Montana in the way
I do not visit Montana. I sit and I sit
in Mantana puncturing holes in cans.
Understand jawlines of animals understand
skeletal grips on our howls understand small
nouns crowding bigger nouns. I touch a jawbone
its cold zoetrope. Housefire’s bored housewife
sweeps ash into a chicken pen. I touch a jawbone
to my lips to warn away its temperature.
My orgasm is a clear white analog. Here lies here lies.


Natalie Eilbert‘s first book of poems, Swan Feast, is forthcoming from Coconut Books in 2015. She is the author of two chapbooks, Conversation with the Stone Wife (Bloof Books 2014) and And I Shall Again Be Virtuous (Big Lucks Books, forthcoming). Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Kenyon Review, Tin House, West Branch, Guernica, Sixth Finch, and many others. She is the founding editor of The Atlas Review.