Charlie Clark

The way the ones the helium’s

fizzled from droop

make him look like an octopus

holding maracas, blue daubs at each limb’s end

bobbing in the current.

God knows he hates a spectacle.

Even one so delicate.

Some dogs on leashes

mutter at his passing

strangeness, their lady stern

in moon-eyed lenses. The leather of her

neck cinched, reptilian.

He wonders what it would take

to make its full flare of colors bloom.

Charlie Clark’s work has appeared in Best New Poets 2011 as well as Blackbird, The Laurel Review, Smartish Pace, West Branch, and other journals. He studied poetry at the University of Maryland and lives in Austin, Texas.