Simone Muench's Poetry

Hex

Trouble came and trouble
brought greasy, ungenerous things:
poke root and bladderwrack,
chalklines in bloody bedrooms
and black reptilian bags
smelling of acetylene.

Trouble came and trouble sang
shush-shush or tell-tell
for I alone will break your bones
as he bedded down for winter
in a small small town,
smelling of cabbage and tripe
where eight black chickens
wandered the street.

With trouble came clouds
agitating the cows, their thick
ruminant bodies clogging up
the riverbeds. Trouble came
and sang and fish turned belly-up,
house pets appeared in the well.
Children starting dying
of oddities that the small-town
doctor could not name.

Trouble-houses and trouble-towns.
Trouble came in one hundred waves,
in sparks and hexes, with horse-breath
and spiny borders. Babies born
with clubfoots and cleft lips, babies
born with partial hearts and partial heads
and some just born plain dead.

Trouble is and trouble was
and trouble came and sang
shush-shush or tell-tell
in a small small town.


Published in Orange Crush (Sarabande Books, 2010)