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Wonders for the Dead

from Unsent Postcards by Harrison Lemke

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Out past the shattered-glass showrooms of old downtown
where the stray cats make their exits from the underground
out past where the last lonely stretch of stripmall stands
where the light pollution lets go of the sky's expanse

We got out of the car on a dead end street
felt the sticky breath of summer wrap around us like a sheet
and we lay down on the asphalt, you and me,
and our arms and our backs drew in the day's heat

And the insects sang their vigils high up in the leaves
our fingers traced the constellations like rosary beads
and it started to cool down in the corners of the night
the heat spell was lifting and I was feeling fine

And coming down 84, I took everything in
saw that the wall that cut me off for all that time was paper thin
and air roared through the window like peroxide, cold and clean,
and a dream came back to me from when i was 15

And the wind came down and the trees dropped their seeds
and they were nodding and beckoning all up and down the street
my soul longs for you in a dry and weary land
down to the houses of the dead, come, save me by your hand
and I'll be
brand new


from Unsent Postcards, released July 3, 2020


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Harrison Lemke Austin, Texas

tape-hiss symphonies to God

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