will the red hand throw me?

Matthew Rohrer

 
1. Though our radiator is painted the color of the walls we know he's there. Whatever we set on top of him bursts angrily into flame. He has come to be known as Petulant. He has come to be known as Wasted Space. To be contrary, the radiator will not heat us when we need it. "If only I could find his fucking face," I say to her (who sleeps beside me), "I'd stick something in his eye. I'd stick this in his eye." And I hold out a fork. Night has grown up around us and this luminous fork is our only light. 2. By the light of our luminous fork I see the old Mexican shortwave radio weeping on the corner. All her tubes are cracked and it is late in the century. No one will be putting on a hat and boots to find tubes for her, because they can't be found. She is like the last auk in its cage with a shattered wishbone, while the naturalists were helpless and could offer to bring it something, again and again. She is like the last passenger pigeon when it realized it was the last passenger pigeon. We don't notice her anymore. "God's curse on you for ignoring me," she used to moan at night. Now she only weeps or says her prayers, but either way we can't hear her because her tubes are withered and it is late in the century. 3. The luminous fork is also worthy of investigation: Our grandparents cannot remember when the luminous fork first came into their lives. It was prefigured by the tools of Poseidon and Michael. It has appeared in my poems before. It is the last of the luminous flatware and is lonely in our drawer. Imagine a luminous fork in the company of our silverware and their steely glances. Think about this fork who cannot share his secrets with the dark knives, who will never lie with the smooth spoons. The luminous fork knows that someday when I open the drawer I won't recognize him among the tarnished forks pointing at me, just as I am told one day there will come a knock at my door that I won't answer.
 
From A Hummock in the Malookas, by Matthew Rohrer, published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 1995 by Matthew Rohrer. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Poems by This Author

After Catullus by Matthew Rohrer
If you, Tom, could see this inflight video map
Credo by Matthew Rohrer
I believe there is something else
Epithalamium by Matthew Rohrer
In the middle garden is the secret wedding
Garden of Bees by Matthew Rohrer
The narcissus grows past
Jangling by Matthew Rohrer and Joshua Beckman
Money cannot find me
Monkeys by Matthew Rohrer and Joshua Beckman
In another jungle the monkeys fret
Moss Retains Moisture by Matthew Rohrer and Joshua Beckman
Pavilion of Leaves by Matthew Rohrer
Central Park in a
Poem by Matthew Rohrer
You called, you’re on the train, on Sunday
Ski Lift to Death! by Matthew Rohrer
It was a basement with its own basement,
The Emperor by Matthew Rohrer
She sends me a text
venus waning/apollo waxing his car by Matthew Rohrer
Then there was the night I decided that if I ignored everyone