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Before this new sameness

we never left home. We casted
ourselves in a domestic tableau.
A riot was born. And you
took to staring out of windows, reading
the smoke signals of flaming cars,
which told you,
and you were convinced,
that there was a stranger in each of us
bent, braiding the frayed ends
of beginnings. Had you
already given up?

The riot police had taken off
their clothes and stumbled home.
The barricades redressed in morning glories.
The neighborhood kids dared one another to
ding dong ditch. The doorbell long since

Most nights, the stranger in me told simple
stories to the stranger in you. Your stranger knew
about endings. Mine watched
the time, which was still
there, and mostly wasted.


Forced Perspective

The narrative field is as flat
as a field seen from above
some old, bored god gets older
and border with our bodies.

As a field seen from above,
you flood me and tie me up
make borders of our bodies
and the young gods take out their eyes,

they flood them and tie them up
with envy at me under you under nothing
and they take out their eyes
in this blooming scene

with me under you, you under nothing.
Like reading, you require submission
in this blooming scene
see how the head must bow?

Reading you requires submission.
The old, bored god gets older,
see how the head must bow?
The narrative field is as flat.


Adam Hayden holds an MFA from the University of Michigan. His most recent work can be found or is forthcoming in Incessant Pipe, Pleiades, and Juked.