H.K. Hummel
MAGRITTE'S GOLCONDA AS TREATISE ON POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER I



Another kingdom in ruin that doesn’t know it yet.
No rustle of coattails. No echo of footsteps.

No murmurs, no car horns, no breeze—
only the sweet scent of Brylcreem and a deluge of men

on the city skyline: a dark fog of suits
bowler hat after bowler hat, levitating

as if rain stopped midair. They tuck pocket watches
into waistcoats, shift valises from one hand to the other,

begin to tap their Wingtips on thin air.
Everyone has somewhere to be.

Below, people bump into walls.
In a fit of confusion, men forget how to read

the sky, how to read their lover’s face.
They slosh dirty vermouth, smoke cigars,

stumble into dark apartments, and sleep
beside strange wives.

At sun-up, barbers sharpen razors on leather strops,
frowning at the knotted weir of sky above them.





MAGRITTE'S GOLCONDA AS TREATISE ON POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER II



In this dream           a barrage of men           leaden the sky



as if dropped     from a squadron           of kittyhawks



a horizon of          trench coats            spitshined          valises



In this dream                        rainslick men



in gray flannel suits       disappear behind        a smoke screen



of cigar fog         drowned out          by the clamor         of   stenographers



In this dream              the dream                disappears



the dream        detonates            the dream loops



the dream sleeps                    underground





THIS BODY FIXED IN PLACE



Woman as granite          as poppy hillside            sharp as grassfire



quantum shimmer                blurred edges



an indigo study       of blue       of violet       of blue



woman as fog on water       as nebula       as chalcedony



willow bark tincture              hazel catkin



For you          I take vows       in the abbey          of restraint



I stay              staying          still



an oak       on   oak savanna                I walk towards



open     I open          I keep       opening          keep   keeping





H.K. Hummel has published two chapbooks, Boytreebird (2013), and Handmade Boats (2010), as well as poems in a variety of journals such as Iron Horse Review, Booth, Flyway, Meridian, and Antigonish Review. She founded the literary journal, Blood Orange Review, and she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of poetry at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.