About this poet

Ange Mlinko is the author of Marvelous Things Overheard: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013).

Migrant

Ange Mlinko
Sunday takes us to the relic-boxes of small Texas towns,
their shops of Sears and Roebuck
            sewing machine stands,
bordello bedframes, and scrap-metal lawn art: a butterfly
stakes a Spartan garden
            with pollen rust.
Learning the hard way not to touch even the brass panel
of a swinging entrance
            door to cold beer
a rose catheterizing a vase, bloom achieved. None of these
wheel-hoops made overseas,
            none of the wind bearing
signals toward receivers. "What are you, unremember-prone?"
But as a clock-spring's
            reincarnated in
an obnoxious doorknob, squint-squeal, a drawer is shaking out
again its rubber bands,
            nails, batteries, twists,
razor blades, shoelaces, coupons, q-tips, to jerry-rig the butterfly
a sunflower. That's to say
            the armored flower
these Sabbath-shut antique shops show me in mirrors.
With a castle of black iron,
            very Louise Nevelson,
gears and ratchets and half-moon windows in turrets
buffered by a wall of copper beech,
            a moat of black mondo grass
and borders of purple wandering jew. If I thread the screw
in that will hold the weight
            of this world upon the wall,
the mirrors of the antique shops and the antique shops themselves
protest that we're not unpacked.
            That we may not be
before the buzzards sink, empty ink cartridges
of those translucent claws.
            Not fully.

Copyright © 2010 by Ange Mlinko. Used by permission of the author.

Copyright © 2010 by Ange Mlinko. Used by permission of the author.

Ange Mlinko

Ange Mlinko is the author of Marvelous Things Overheard: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013).

by this poet

poem

Where the curve of the road rhymes with the reservoir's
and cleared of the leafy veils that for six months
obscured it,
the landscape's wet chestnut
in the gray descended cloud
intones You're lucky to live in a watershed
so no vast tracts of tacky drywall
turn the land