In Adam’s Room (I)

Daniel Schonning

If there is a thesis to the universe
then tongues have no place in it.

Angels, I know,
don’t have them. They have mouths
the way you or I navels:

defunct. Once pressed
to the warm mouth of God.

Without tongues, mana settles
on the backs of their throats
like fireplace smoke in winter.

Without tongues, they project.
                                                                                             I fell asleep looking
                                                                                             on a photo by Richard Drew:
                                                                                                            “The Falling Man.”

                                                                                             That night, I dreamt of children
                                                                                             building graham-cracker castles
                                                                                                            with battlements
                                                                                                            of nonpareils,

                                                                                             which they tip over top
                                                                                             of willow fence posts
                                                                                             and into the ocean.
                                                                                                            They are seaside,
                                                                                                            in the Old Country.

                                                                                             In the cold yellow light,
                                                                                             John Keane approaches, thumbing
                                                                                                            his blackthorn shillelagh like a
                                                                                                            rosary. He cries, as one does

                                                                                             in dreams. Outside he is sixty years
                                                                                             dead. Outside there are no angels.


from Issue 30.1

DANIEL SCHONNING is currently an MFA candidate at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. He was a finalist for the 2018 Indiana Review Poetry Prize and his work has appeared previously in Seneca Review.