Devil’s Lake

Spring 2017 Issue

Lauren Shapiro: Projection

In the beaming old lady is couched ten tons of loss.

Where you see them is not where things are.

Where you go looking is not where they are.

Read Heidegger, he’ll tell you better than I could,

if you can get through all the bric-a-brac.

The rain turns to snow then back to rain.

I project truth and honor and pity onto the weather.

When you hear it, the earth begins its apology.

When you listen, you know it’s your own.

I put a magnifying glass to my husband’s sleep mumbling.

Another student begins a paper Since the dawn of mankind,

which is a way of saying I don’t know where to start.

The wedding gushes like a waterfall of brackish water.

When I was young, I would vomit all the time,

but now my body stores anxiety deep in its bedrock.

As I run the dishwasher and take out the recycling,

I can hear a distant bird chanting its own sad song,

which is the same sad song the entire species is chanting.

The Bodies

The bodies on the battlefield

in the documentary aren’t really

dead of course they position

themselves for sunrise I’m told

the bodies get $25 and free food

the bodies are trying to make it

in Hollywood or just anywhere

being a lawyer or a sanitation worker

the bodies might be feeling exhausted

or just done with it all before

I was born the body put a bag

over its head and disappeared

I was six when the body forever

jumped from a bridge thirty when

the body tried again and again

to fly from the top of the parking

garage the bodies make a pattern

of loss they can’t see or stop

after the movie shoot the bodies

pick themselves up and wash off

their wounds the bodies take

a sandwich then it’s the easiest thing

the bodies just get in their cars

and drive home

a photo of the author, Lauren Shapiro LAUREN SHAPIRO’s first collection of poetry, Easy Math, won the 2011 Kathryn A. Morton Prize, judged by Marie Howe, and was published in 2013 by Sarabande Books. She is also the author of a chapbook, Yo-Yo Logic, published by DIAGRAM/New Michigan Press (2012) and was co-editor of The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Rescue Press, 2013). She is an assistant professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University. More from this issue >