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TWO POEMS by Corey Van Landingham

VIEW POINT, SAN ANDREAS FAULT From here, I see the up-thrust of collision, how the Indio Hills have changed through time. In a year, the sign says...

VIEW POINT, SAN ANDREAS FAULT

From here, I see the up-thrust of collision,
how the Indio Hills have changed

through time. In a year, the sign says,
we will be standing two inches to the left

of where we are now. I have wasted
the winter on a man who will never

love me. Five hundred miles from here,
my apartment stands on top of this same

fault, just hidden. Nights I can’t sleep,
imagining the forces beneath me

creating a world I’ll never see. In the one
I can, the park closes at sunset.

The light is handsome, but I can’t give it
to anyone. The flowers start shutting down.

Where the valley rises, I can believe
in a future that does not hold us close.

Intersecting, the plates broke through
the earth’s crust until time was visible.

I want us to matter like ephemera:
old stock certificates, the postcards we buy

in the gift store. Driving home, we pass
the air force base, which of course

we can’t see. It’s the army. It’s a secret.
From the overlook I could see

into Mexico. Everyone else leaving
each other in their different languages.

 

A BAD DATE

The pleasure boats cut across the lake we can see
     from the hotel restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
“I’m a sucker for a view,” I say, which, he tells me,
     dignifies imperialism. What with Rome, and all.
We’re meeting to see if I will let him, tonight,
     tie me to not-his-bed, to, with the instruments
he will deem necessary, knock against me while
     his wife watches. I’m trying to forget another
man, so I repeat what I have heard on the radio:
     to assuage traffic jams, engineers are studying
ants. Sans egos, they get where they need to go.
     No flash. No honking. No aggressive driving.
Outside is only an inch of glass away. I sip my wine.
     The fog bank has been erasing the hills
for a week, and in the mornings I climb the stairs
     to my apartment’s balcony, where what is visible
is mine, and I would kill for it, the right-out-there.

 

 

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About Corey Van Landingham

Corey Van Landingham
Corey Van Landingham is a Wallace C. Stegner Poetry Fellow at Stanford University, and the author of Antidote, winner of the 2012 Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, The Best American Poetry 2014, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.