• Nous

    Noah Warren

    Spring 2019

    He lifts the yellow backhoe
    with the hoist he’s rigged
    to the I-beams of his studio;
    it hangs in its chains like a bee.
    On long tables, unarticulated
    column segments wait to be welded
    and planted in the meadow. Like teeth, they’ll grow
    brown with pollen, black with fog.
    A decades-old Athena stares into the corner.
    Her steel breasts and heavy legs barely
    tacked — the idea of a body, toddling
    reproachful from its ersatz frame.
    He leans back wincing on the homemade creeper
    and inches under this used machine.
    Rust-bound casters keen —
    his young assistant tightens.
    He will wrench off the skid plate;
    drain two trays of tarry oil; swap out
    plugs, cracked hoses, gummed filters;
    grease the housings; curse the pump.
    For a quarter of an hour, though,
    he just lies on that deal platform,
    a pocket flashlight clenched in his teeth,
    testing lightly with his fingertips
    the dark, intricate landscape
    a foot above his face.

    Noah Warren is the author of  The Destroyer in the Glass,  winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets. A former Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco and is a pursuing a PhD in English at UC Berkeley. 

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