Justin Evans Poetry

SLS:

Though I was not born or raised in the South, I have lived in Georgia, Texas, and in North Carolina, while I was in the U.S. Army. I may not know much, but I know enough to never refer to the “South” as a single homogeneous geographic location. I map places by the food I eat, and each of the places I mentioned are dominated by their own food memories, and none have anything to do with grits.

Some Day This Demon Will Leave My Body

 

Who wants to live forever?  Who wants to

go on, knowing nothing foreign remains?

There’s always a new dance to learn, some new

herky-jerky music calling my name. And who

 

is to say one music is better than another, one

outlandish folk song and dance routine more

important than the last?  Who is to say one step

or twist of the hips is more elegant or sensual?

 

When even willpower has faded, I will

look back on this time as sacred, and no doubt

there will be lingering whispers.  They will be

the last sounds I will hear before I die.

Some Day This Bee Colony Will Collapse

 

Entropy is my middle name.  No, it’s the credo

I have grown to love over the years, watching

the past as it becomes the past― the thing

everyone romanticizes instead of remembers.

 

Every night my dreams become shorter, each

folding on the seams of the last.  My mother says

déjà vu is made like this, and all our futures

are simply dreams we cannot remember just yet.

Some Day the Tin Man Will Sing the Blues Again

 

We all know what is going to happen in the future,

we just pretend to not know.  It’s easier than

walking with courage into the startling splendor

of our own destruction, with a calm sometimes

 

foretold in dystopian novels.  Our daily calm is

more anesthesia these days, but some day it will be

a genetic boon we pass on to our children.  This,

not our deaths is why we feign ignorance, pretend

 

a need for prognostication.  If I wanted, I could

tell you everything about how I will die, but then

I would be forced to admit in many ways I have

already died, given myself over to the void.

Some Day Somebody Will Invent a New Form of ESP

 

I seem to lose each day almost as fast

as I recognize it for what it was, the sun

goes down and before I know it, I am asleep

 

dreaming of (and this is where I may

lose you), night.  Yes, I know it’s strange

to realize this is the extent of my imagination

 

but I hope that is forgiveness in your eyes,

not flame.  There is more than enough of that

to go around each time I wake with no memory.

Some Day the Human Heart Will Be the Only Manifesto We Need

 

When I was a child I believed riding the tilt-a-whirl

was akin to dancing with the devil.  The sickness

I felt walking home after spending my entire allowance

at the carnival, some strange penance for my sins.

 

The fire inside my brain would keep me from sleep

the entire summer, make all my wishes evaporate

with the thought of a single kiss; for the symmetry

of what I imagined my friends  already knew.

 

I knew nothing of how the human body sheds

all its cells every seven years or how the world

is bon again every seven days.  I did not know

the war waiting for me on the other side of childhood.

 

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