Alex Manthei

Beside the house

there is the line of brush that you’ve always thought are trees
shadowing a forest into the shade of 20° cooler
the stuff of dreams
there you collect the raw ingredients of your invention
how you made yourself and the things around you
and how they made you with the desert’s greatest gift
the sheet music of how the concrete cracks into the wash
into the gutter

of how the backyards spill into one another
and the gates are like mottled sieves to see through
kaleidoscopes of the lives around you

they strain your eyes with their metal coolness to your forehead

we learn I Spy for a reason here
a drought of anything else to do

until the summer rains come

I spy with my little eye
the black-heavy clouds of a hail storm coming

we know not to be in these trees anymore
we know to unplug everything in the house

alex manthai

Alex Manthei edits Two Words For, an online literary arts publication at His work has appeared in The Belleville Park Pages, The Bastille, The Red Branch Journal, SLANG, Writer’s Block, and Paris Lit Up Magazine. He writes poetry, takes photos, and studies typography in London. For more info please visit