Two Poems / by Jordan Burgess

Anika Basquiat 

I stuffed a budding bouquet
in the head hole of your
black turtleneck sweater
you said you’d be off
breakdancing on trash island
only you know where, Pacific Ocean 
it’s for science, you said 
it’s for a good cause
I hung your replica on a curtain rod
and asked it about
the way a bird tastes
a dove, a pigeon
like chicken, it replied
but not the actual taste of chicken
but the idea of the taste of chicken
and now you’re here
and we’re standing face-to-face
you look at the bouquet
and it begins to explode with color 
purple hydrangea, pink peony
I look right into your eyes,
eyes that I have yet to find anything behind
or really anything inside
and I forget that eyes
are not blown from glass
but are made of fleshy goop
soft to the touch vulnerable
and maybe there’s nothing behind
or inside anyone’s eyes
especially yours, maybe
you put on your turtleneck sweater
like you are stuffing yourself
inside a crystal vase.





Super Saiyan 3 

A bundle of arrows, quiverless 
decorate the inside of your right thigh 
above the knee 
you let your summer knit dress 
resume its usual place in the world. 

You tell me what it was like 
to walk through walls as a child 
how your father spent late nights 
whispering proverbs in your left ear 
and how you were either too afraid 
or too honest to pretend sleep. 

We watched fog eat the tops of 
cypresses, firs 
while the sky bloomed 
into mood-ring-blue 
roofs began to steam 
and then you were gone. 

When we see each other again 
in traffic on a bridge 
that might’ve collapse today or yesterday 
I ask you about the tattoo 
but you tell me it’s been removed.




Jordan Burgess is an all around okay guy. He studies, works, and lives in Portland, Oregon.