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Two Poems
by Brandon Shimoda

Greensward [Foliage]

Two young girls sit on pink blankets
and play with dolls.* Hemlock and pine

stand in a row on the sloping hill.
The girls' nanny has her fingers

on the bark of the pine, trading her
modesty with that of the ageless.

The older girl is holding a dog in her
lap, making it dance, singing a song:

It's ve-ry win-dy, it's ve-ry ve-ry win-dy.
It's ve-ry win-dy, it's ve-ry, ve-ry win-dy.

The dolls are now harping this line.
The girls sing together in English, though

when they stop singing to speak, they
speak Portuguese. The hemlock wilts to

cinnamon, the pine suffers a square-plated trauma,
sickness transmitted by wind and root to tree,

where it drags itself, hand over hand, through
pith to brain. The grass twitters like heated

fish scales. There's a hint of moisture to the dirt,
of something swollen in the ground.

The dog's name is Brownie. Small and brown,
fattening, moist, malleable. Made by man, for man.

How about Cake, Bit Cake, or Cookie?
Bury the fucking dog.

*In a rich neighborhood, under the sway
and deadening oasis of each other's company.

Greensward [They Remain Carriers]

An older woman speaks to a younger woman.
As you grow older, she begins. One thing

you'll learn, she begins. What I've realized,
she begins. The pond is still today, troubled

of the occasional breeze. According to the lady,
the planners, as children, were suffused with

such tremendous sense, as natural as milk.
Tremendous sense: trees subject to the

misfortunes of glee in these parts, the spoils
of elders who, when they remove their wool hats,

let loose a snake basket of ropy hair, dead
cells and leaf stems. They are historians, sitting

on their benches, in their ruin; they remain
carriers of the unexpected, the pointedly

unwanted, speaking unabashedly of people
who have died horrific deaths -

the philanthropist assassinated on the balcony,
the woman who choked on stray chips of ice

from an ice sculpture, children dashed upon
the city curb, spilling their own bacterial loads,

the grease of poison ivy. And even if she could:
How do I get to the museum? As if by revelation:

Look, look at that - a little boat.

About the author:
Brandon Shimoda was born in California, raised in Connecticut, and spent most of his lunch hours during the years 2001-2002 in Central Park, New York City. Recent writings have appeared in
Bullfight Review, sidereality, Shampoo Poetry, Crab Creek Review, and in the online collaboration Peek Thru The Pines, with Phil Cordelli ( He's currently dividing his time between Cambodia and Missoula, Montana.

© 2011 Word Riot

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