Poems: Max Schleicher

Illo for Max Schleicher's poems.


I can’t remember if I’ve said any of this before
but, Geraldine, the world is our police procedural.
Morning’s detective holds his breath above the sink.
One night each week, scenes plash the wall
and our eyelashes resemble the bottom fringe of chain link
pushed back to reveal some last evidence: a torn fingernail
shaking in the flashlight’s jiggly yolk and shell.

My advice: don’t trust anyone who disparages memory.
They never lost theirs, Geraldine, or never lost enough
they felt their body become evidence—not like us who’ve heard
dry migrations of police in the light on the curtain.
There are times when you won’t know whom to trust,
but always believe the forgetful Geraldine.
When a gun goes off, they know their way around what’s lost.

Unlimited Text

I’m messaged strange metaphors for this life.
The wind on KK Ave offers unlimited text.
Air trucked and trundled under pageload sky
while small muscling grass tightens against
rehabbed buildings of the 5th Ward’s recent revival.
Maybe metaphors are the social arrival
of a once down neighborhood, or the quiet violence
we sew in speech pushing it toward the little laugh.
But this is just the quick read.
                                    I refresh for more comments
and tap to expand the exhausted aftermath
of a passing bus. Its longform shakes.
Its one thing leads to another’s daring escape
passing by the way a metaphor appears at rest
advertising no-contract plans, unlimited talk and text.


According to Genesis, to catch my flight
I had to stay up all night
and evening and morning were the second day
and darkness crowded the face
of the waters as it helped adjust the straps
            of the emergency oxygen mask.

According to Virgil, in Book VI
Aeneas crossed the last threshold
striding the rainbow-colored hall
of the O’Hare terminal
and shades receded in the lake of hair and dust
            that rippled the tile of the concourse.

According to whichever book it was,
the seventh day, fate was so still it was skittish
bursting into light-headed applause
for the train about to be created
in the station at Jackson Boulevard.
A wheel of morning and evening pages
scattered as I stood for the arrival
            of my day of rest.
Max Schleicher works as a copywriter and digital marketer in Chicago. Poems of his have appeared in Prelude, Zocalo Public Square, and other magazines. He can be found @maxschl.

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