Estate Management

︎︎︎ Clementine Morse

︎ JULY 14, 2022

The lake occasioned overcast
and then wet my teeth mossy
like slippery wood

At this lake the water swallows
its outsiders and residents alike
the sky got gargled
by this lake thirsty for whatever
is not itself

Atmospheric death color—
all the upper tree crusts
and the terranean and below inferno bubble
world made for this morning
add up to nothing aesthetic nothing satisfies
no curse and no luck

Last night these overgrown boys
whose bark I hear and company I keep
they give and take their talk
at walking whim
or sometimes a raise of my left eyebrow
or an interruption that flickers for a riot
inside a pause

We drank sausage blood again for dinner
and they pushed themselves on and off
the fat of property
into the water laughter drowns
hamstrings clench in resolve
or they roll all together
beyond a turpid edge where the lawn
stops to sigh and brew under a sun’s descent
that seems far away and blisters my feet

Of these three boys one is full of freckles
one is a bleached stone
and one is tawn and fur I dig my way to the bottom

Last night I thought of the hound Cerberus
I thought in spotted in ancient in game and performance
they tossed colorful sacks onto clouds of dirt
for nobody’s perfectly neglected golden retriever to fetch

I stood over the dropped toy
I lurched forward and voices fell behind
A stranger’s solitude shot holes out front

Then in the room I wasn’t really there
I was in the crevices of pink palms where dice rolled as
foam bloomed in the coarseness
around their chins

Here with my botched gin I’m there
I’m here
I’m kissing a forehead coagulated
and hazy a
slickness on the brink

The moon rose nocturne in navy and I swam
naked down to my ankle even down to my middle toe
that stubbed the underbellied rocks

All the cans of beer grew tangled in the vineyard weeds
I heard my knees’ smallest bones cackle up a gravel hill
My posture worse as the night wore on

is a poet and preschool teacher from Brooklyn, New York. She currently lives in Los Angeles. You can find her @clementinemorse on Instagram.