8. 26. 2023

Value Form

Brendan Joyce

Turned that chicken into a week of meals
the way I turned that memory into ten
years of poems. Ten years of amalgams
of the rain. In cigarettes, six months’ rent
is a year. Mechanic says five weeks wages
to drive another day.
Yesterday at the gas station a man said:
water boils at 212 degrees, steam drives
trains, you don’t need gas, you want gas.
Lord, boil my wages into rain.
Burn my poems into chicken. Lord,
let me eat my car, let me drink the gas,
let me swallow the asphalt that separates
me from my love.

Brendan Joyce is the author of three books of poetry: Love & Solidarity, Character Limit, and Personal Problem. His poems have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, The Sonora Review, Waxnine Journal, Prolit, Woodbine Collective’s The Reservoir, and Protean Magazine. Along with Kevin Latimer, he is the organizer of Grieveland, a poetry press in Cleveland, Ohio.