Adam Pellegrini

My Suite, My Lovely

      and the pachyderms
just above our apartment

are drunk and trying to dance.
      They step like cannonfire
warning us from dreams.

You can almost make out
      Tchaikovsky, can just see
them hunch and wobble,

plié and arabesque.
      They tumble, giggle
and grope on thin parquet,

struggle around trunk
      and tusk to find
tongues. I roll over.

You mutter
      something about
peeing and get up.

No peace, and so I remember
      the monsters of my youth,
what wonderful silence!

Able to keep still under stairwells,
      behind rows of button-up
shirts on hangers. In my attic

most of all, where a forest
      of cardboard rose to roofing nails—
I would slip handguns

from the old medicine bag
      my grandfather kept them in,
aware of what eyes sunk into me.

I would take each one out,
      try to figure where the bullet
slid in, how it attracted

the hammer to a single point
      in its back. I’d hold each handle
tight, feeling something

like the tickle of fur
      or claws against my neck,
picture turning to shoot,

a bullet entering air.
      You come back.
Lay down in moonlight

your naked back. Our neighbors
      on our ceiling, a trampoline.
Come, you say. Let’s give up on sleep.


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