Club X, Before the Bridges Lift (Two Views)
Between the gaping double-doors of Club-X and two leather thugs,
a cardboard babe hoists head-sized steins before each suggested breast.
I want to enter, be hauled into the mouth, haul it all into my mouth.
Mandelstam: the way Tatars bathe their horses, lower your eye into what will
be. Across the street, at Neva’s edge, a local artist watercolors the
Palace bridge, its wings splaying to twilight. Remember the eye—a noble,
but stubborn animal. The river’s colors blur with each stroke, bleed into
shore. The waters rise. Everything wants to be flooded. Every empire
dies, entering its own dilated eyes.
Philip Metres has written a number of books and chapbooks, most recently Sand Opera (2015), A Concordance of Leaves (Diode 2013), abu ghraib arias (Flying Guillotine 2011), To See the Earth (Cleveland State 2008), and Behind the Lines: War Resistance Poetry on the American Homefront since 1941 (University of Iowa 2007). His work has appeared in Best American Poetry, and Inclined to Speak: Contemporary Arab American Poetry. He is a winner of the Beatrice Hawley Prize, the Anne Halley Prize, two Arab American Book Awards, and the Cleveland Arts Prize.