from the editors

current issue

past issues



Follow UCityReview on Twitter



David Levine

The Emergency

Let Me See You in a Great Flood or Wave

The Sun Is Sleeping Through This Vacation

The Emergency


We are walking down the street.  There are fireworks everywhere.  You suggest we sleep in puddles.

Every puff of smoke is a mention of fertility.  Instead of swallowing pills, you make a fake face.

I cover myself in chalk for you, but you are not amused.  I reach past optimized lines in your treatise against babies.

I see sirens and I want to start a fire.  I don't know how I feel.


An ambulance with the wrong address pulls up to our front door.

In times like this, you patronize vanity.  You bring the paramedics mirrors and ignite smoke with floodlights.

The ambulance vanishes.  There is haste in the heat of our possessions.

My hands and your body are different silences.  Silence is the price of living with men.

Return to list of poems

Let Me See You in a Great Flood or Wave


I cross out your reflection in the creek beside the driveway.  You seem inspired by these ripples.  Birds scatter.  Their wings represent excited doom.

This house is a weird kaleidoscope.  I just see a lot of you.

I earn my shadow when I look at you; your endorsement of theft, the rumors spread over our rooftop, the way your mouth shifts between small and huge.


You were willing to buy my kind of sabotage.  I'd string up snow to mute your shouts of consequential sound.

We are not talking about self destruction.  We are not talking about ten leaves on the surface of the creek.

We are not talking about airplanes or jewels, the bad pavement on I-70, your troubled ability to mistake prairie for prairie.

You've put too much work into becoming unreasonable.  A lot of things are overwhelming. 


I can't explain the mechanics of agreement.   I know we came to Kansas to leave Kansas.  I know today is sad.  If you want to call this knowledge metaphorical, alright.

But now, I've bent my exasperation sixteen different ways.  You say you don't believe in metaphors.  You say you're fishing for a dress in sand.

What I have learned has been lost to your comment about crows.  You decorate this cave with words. 

That's not what caves are for.

Return to list of poems

The Sun is Sleeping Through This Vacation

Now, we express ourselves in a series of dilations. 

Pupils and milk mix in this harmony. 

You take a bite out of a bite out of an apple.

Return to list of poems

David Levine grew up in the poorly named town of New City, NY. After bouncing between Salt Lake City and Seattle for a year, he settled into the role of a graduate student in Boulder, Colorado. He hopes to do more in the future.

Return to list of poems

copyright 2012 ucity review