c o n v e r g e n c e:
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EDITOR'S CHOICE: cynthia linville's

Aaron Gerwer

Devil's Corn Field Photograph by Jessica Bahlman
Photograph by Jessica Bahlman

Worried about erosion
by Aaron Gerwer

Taps riding gunshot percussion
in gusts that push the melody louder.
The air slicing quickly across my face,
blowing hot breath back into my mouth—
swelling me up that way.
It feels like a movie it feels like some movie it feels pathetic like some movie.
But you're dead like what oddly happens to people in real life.
When they had you opened up
when they had you on display
when they had you puffed up and red and glowing
with something strange I looked for the cameras,
I looked for the crew because they were making this a movie
weren't they? They had the makeup on you, all the props
ready to rely on our past knowledge to construct this.
They didn't even have to do much really just let our
little associations weasel themselves in.
And another poem is on this precipice screaming into
the wind i was already talking about
calling it names to give it some form.
I aimed a kick but
what i thought it was (a shape)
spread out into nothing
with a sound that I took and interpreted as laughter.

Shadowboxer's Thesis
by Aaron Gerwer

Anger covers
and tightens my skin,
constricting all blood flow
in uneven pulses.

Professional wrestlers get anabolic power from anger
while I get progressively sicker.

Equilibrium, my great white blood cell of emotions
flows out,
a cool shockwave of cultured response,
but is damned

just before the surface.
Primitive instincts rush out
to battle, urged on
by blueprints that insured their survival
but now seem written in some
Atlantean script— exquisite but
only mythologically in-extinct.

I close my fists—
enact muscle ritual that forces sweat,
stinging, running
distilled poison of struggle and salt,
and re-form old acts of closemouthed violence;
damp echoes of shuffling feet
and quick
nasal exhalation.

Movements choreograph
memories that crystallize
understandable struggle
where adversity can be hit,
silently beaten
into acquiescence.

by Aaron Gerwer

The energy is growing in the room taking identity from us objects. My sweat a witness. The burning smell a witness. We decrease in proportion to the force beyond the window framed in electric red.

Red light has possessed the bedroom: demonizing every book, my own chest, my sweat, our bed. She still doesn't move her skin smooth and tighter than the buzzing glow can penetrate, although it forces sweat from the surface it doesn't reach deep enough to wake her; just makes her sleep look so intense, her trained hair in this light creating illusions of movement.

The blinds quick-burn my hand just in the act of reaching for them and I can only stare at hot plastic as the light moves, leaves our window in quick, footless motion. I hurry past her once again dark and dormant form sprawled on the bed.

3 steps down the hall to my son who sleeps in a car, who sleeps surrounded by his kingdom of miniature adult necessities. And it's perfectly subdued with night-lights softening a cherub out of his features. Until his front window flares in passing; red descending on the play-sets, melting cars into gloppy masses.I pull him from the collapsing red plastic of his bed and tuck him into my hip and under my arm.

3 steps to my tv room where red light is spreading to the kitchen and the sliding glass door blinds are running down. A pause back into night and then red heat around the front door. I lean towards the fish-eye cautious of radiation and look out onto nothing but empty red light.

9 steps to put my son next to my girlfriend, to watch them heavy with sleep and peace. And I shut the door, sit on the end of the bed, put my cellphone right next to my right hand and hope we just stay surrounded.

Aaron Gerwer

Aaron Gerwer has been published in Poetry Now and the Rattlesnake Review and is the calendar editor for Poetry Now. Multi-talented, Aaron is also a musician and currently the vocalist for Dropstep. He works as an aid with learning handicapped kids and has a love of comic books, his favorite series being The Preacher.

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