Michael Estes

2 Poems

Saturday on Ice

My body, the problem

envelops a morning. Can’t

won’t can’t make like a

cheetah to coffee, and all


boar, no antelope into the

office. Wings gone because

melted, gone because

never, thumbs left to


their own devices. Molts hair

not skin, sweeps tile

after towel after shower

before heading to the rink. The


sweep and grace of skates

on ice when the ruts

have had their botox. Spins

on ice and loses touch


with ruts, blurs a Thursday, spins

the thin hollow sticks of time

that gather in corners into

gold. Parks back at home and


would like to eagle or flea, not

knee, to the shower, but

can’t. Sits thinking of ways

to get out.


The Men in Autumn

, became a wave behind a prison. The ground

black because rich with oil from trucks

and drones, but the garden there, the garden

growing what it had been told


and told and told to. Windowless

block wall the men touch

the sun and warmth of in winter, and

all the grass besides. The grounds black


because rich friends just yesterday bought

landscaping, dark mulch on vines clustered

at the knees of a gilded Victorian

fountain like kids around a dad


at home. At night the kids at home

though told for months will wait and spark

at the first hint of anything, like the lights

on the grounds. Each leaf that falls


seen as a man, and the kids’ dreams

rich because black with hands and the means

to take things away in waves.