Two Poems

Nick Laird

The Immigration Form

Are you now or have you ever been
skilled with silkworm gut or boric lint?
How intimate are you with breathing

through a Carbolic Chinese Twist? Using
the four-hand lift or bamboo splints?
Are you now or have you ever been

conversant, properly, with pain?
Bandages, assorted. Tincture Eucalyptus.
How intimate are you with breathing

through artificial respiration?
There is no time to get assistance.
Are you now or have you ever been

in want of courage or direction?
Cut the body down at once:
how intimate are you with breathing

life into cadere, the Latin swoon
beyond cadaver and the cadence?
Are you now or have you ever been?

How intimate are you with breathing?

Press

The Leader, The Tillamook Headlight,
The Penn and The Cleveland Plain Dealer,
The Beacon, The Olcester Hudsonite,
The Las Vegas Review and The Gleaner.

100% HUMAN HAIR
declared a sign on Christopher.
We saw a president declare a war
in the TV store in Union Square.

The Oregon Emerald, The Forty-Niner,
The Panther and The Pine Bluff Commercial,
The West Plains Daily Quill, The Kingman Miner,
The Point and The Wichita Eagle.

In Gramercy Park I unfolded the Times
like a map – and watched a solitary ant,
some glossy type risen from the print,
flee the columns and make for the margins.

The Modesty Bee, The Sulphur Times Democrat,
The Sundial and The Commercial Appeal,
The Old Gold and Black, The Daily Wildcat,
The St Louis Post and The Tar Heel.

The Kernal, The Idaho Mountain Express,
The Crimson White and The Cowl,
The Press, The Winter Park Manifest,
The Blade and The Woonsocket Call.