Bedlam Swing

Tristan Beiter

“And the rain, rain, rain / came”
bailing in the desert
downpour, twang, stumble, “down,
down, down . . .” without missing
a beat. We’re dancing one-handed

while I pluck faeries’ wings, let
them dissolve on my tongue
like the Host, like dragonflies
gone at the sour chord
of the ruined one. Pound

the floor. “And the rain, rain,
rain,” comes drowning and
instead of sinking, reed-fields

/pound/ erupt and /pound
the floor, pound the
drum/ interrupt between him

and here, and every wing
is punished by a thousand
birds stripping out of my back, but
they’re mine, when
the dark clouds ride in
from the sea where
“the rain, rain, rain / came”
to cover our stumbles and our dance. 

The king comes in his
kilt and jewels redolent
with Sekhmet to 

jar apart the music.
We are between him
and Bethlehem, red

anger and copper strength
dripping from his great gold maw.

Tristan Beiter is a senior at Swarthmore College where he studies English and Gender and Sexuality Studies. His work has appeared in Glittership and Bird's Thumb. When not reading and writing, he is usually crafting absurdities with his boyfriend or yelling about literary theory. Find him on Twitter at @TristanBeiter.