What Is Not Flesh Comes to a Point

–Rothko’s Phalanx of the Mind

Everything is a weapon
the glass pane poised
in the geometry
of its shanks
even the shadows
when imposed
by the brain’s
peach-pit wrinkles
onto what
could be

floor             ceiling             sky

but all

with the same
sharp intent

thin             impaled           desire

like an acupuncturist’s needle
a parabola of musings above
a flaccid tongue
and its balmy shadow below
massaging the pane to shatter
into the not-flesh of us all

Adam Vines teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and edits Birmingham Poetry Review. He is the author of two collections of poetry, The Coal Life (University of Arkansas Press, 2012) and Out of Speech (LSU Press, 2018) and is coauthor of two collections, According to Discretion (Unicorn Press, 2015) and Day Kink (Unicorn Press, 2018). His recent poems have appeared in The Hopkins Review, Five Points, Green Mountains Review, The Greensboro Review, and Tupelo Quarterly.