From the Film “The Red Shoes” & Reconstructing Sleep & The House Sleeps | poetry by Mark Fleckenstein


He wonders after her, the performance of her absence, 
present. Wrinkled air, light 
as a drinking glass anticipating water, 
mixed conversation, the residue of how her red shoes
explained her.        

If he wonders, it is sleep. 
Night, brass stars, the quiet pounding
of traffic somewhere. Imagines how
she might sleep, her hands having
danced all day, talk quietly. Constructs

what meaning feels,
tries to find where she might, how to right a frayed knot.

Night lightens its embrace of windows as first light 
tinsels the last stars. Her dark hair, free
to her shoulders, pauses. The house exhales 
and is gentle at her. He sleeps, rumpled and dream
sodden. Wanting what the other knows.

The light is always burned out even 
by morning. What he would and what he can duel
over his coffee. He remembers her brevity against
him, the wind unable to swim between them, 
knowing whatever might happen already had. 

I was born in Chicago, and grew up in Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina and New Hampshire. I graduated from University of North Carolina in Charlotte with a B.A. in English and after completing my MFA in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, moved to Massachusetts, and became very involved in the Boston area poetry community. Books: Making Up The World (Editions Dedicaces, 2018), God Box (Clare Songbird Publishing, 2019), A Name for Everything (Cervena Barva Press, 2020), Lowercase God (forthcoming, Unsolicited Press, 2022). Chapbooks: The Memory of Stars, (Sticks Press, 1995, I Was I, Drowning Knee Deep, an online chapbook, (Sticks Press, 2007), Memoir as Conversation (Unsolicited Press, 2019), A Library of Things (Origami Poetry Project, 2020), Small Poems (Origami Poetry Project, 2021)