Poems by Derek Lazarski

Griefless Dream

I didn’t cry at your funeral
it was just a bed at the end
of a long enough road
natural as your next breath

Have I been the architect
of this maze within myself?
I sleepwalk through it, wide-eyed, stringless
followed by a shadow that can’t hug

the cruel game of
showing up in each other’s dreams
in these mirrors we think
the proportions are correct

I want that pain razor-less
but I slap these words on it
at least the angles of the cross
are right twice a day

where are you? I am in
an old wooden kitchen
scuffmarks, steampipes, an icebox
stained apron on the chair

pull a mason jar off the shelf
soon the walls are lined with them
the room filled with jars
one holds fresh baseballs, another sparkly sugar

nowhere is the mud to smear on my face
swimming through the jars only leads
to more lies you’re not ready to tell yourself
I saw your pubes once. Does this matter?

filtered coffee grains leave no artifacts
but these blue jeans were made for my body
the card catalog contains only memories
check one at a time, see if you cry

Splintered Studs

Two by fours lean in the corner,
on each other, the corpses
of a botched basement we once shared.
three by six they’re stacked across,
nails jutting against rough cuts
of knotted boards, gutted and
splintered, sharp like swords
or the corners on the five by eight,
ready to hang on the fresh drywall:
a photo of us, in black and white, at the park,
like the eight by ten of you and her,
black and white, your heads as perpendicular
as the splintered studs once framing
twelve by sixteen feet of floor,
where I slept on a wooden bed
three and a half by seven feet
when I was twenty, by myself.

Derek Lazarski is an emerging writer in Chicago who has had poetry published in Curbside Splendor, Portage Magazine, and City Brink. In addition to a full-length poetry manuscript, he has written two chapbooks and two novels, all of which are currently unpublished. His website with a portfolio of his work is available at http://www.dereklazarski.com. When he is not writing, he works as an associate dean of instruction at a community college in Chicago.

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