top of page
Mike Bagwell

What We Were Trying To Do All Along

We were working with a botched biopsy
of the twentieth century, so who could blame us?
My mother was the year of the horse;
she cradled me in her days and cut
my umbilical with the teeth of December.
Everything was thrown into confusion.
Father went down to the shop to pawn
the three-headed birds he had captured.
A man approached him, pulled pennies
out of his pocket, threw them into the wind
and yelled, “I loved you damn it,
I loved you. Poof. Gone. Rainstorm.”
Father came back plastered.
Fires broke out all over town and gave lectures
about how eternity would absolve our sins.
No one took their books and they sat there
and burned with lonely looks on their faces
until the rains came again. The horse on vacation
misplaces everything with the color orange.
Suitable gifts:
kite, compass, cellular phone, pedicure set, camera.
Maybe oblivion is a final withdrawal from memory:
you wake up to car alarms and construction work
you can’t define and so simply label elegiac
and we lovers curl like cats around each other,
not trying to escape anywhere.
Mike Bagwell is a writer and software engineer based in Philly. He received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence and his work appears or is forthcoming in Heavy Feather Review, trampset, Halfway Down the Stairs, HAD, BULL, Bodega, Whiskey Island, and others. Some editors have kindly nominated him for a Pushcart. He is the author of the chapbook A Collision of Soul in Midair (forthcoming from Bottlecap Press). He was the founding editor and designer of El Aleph Press and his work can be found at
bottom of page