Amy Lawless
& Angela Veronica Wong



Friends, the history

of darkness begins

like this—an individual chameleon

changing color to hide

from his wife’s

lecturing. The unique sound of a scale

being played

on a woodwind

to ensure


is not

a piece of music forgotten

or eliminated.

The darkness of darkness

beginning the basement, the

the way we compartmentalize the

first time I wiped lip gloss

from your cheek,

the opening of a mouth

when the question

about you

and me

comes out.

The history

of darkness begins

like this:


teenage years, a ride

on an unfamiliar subway line, the hubris

of a city skyline, the history of darkness begins

with darkness, with

one babe crying

on the subway because the guy she was seeing

is a dick, that one babe is crying

behind dark glasses and everyone

is not watching the history of darkness begins with one babe

and she is crying and you are the reason so how

does that make you feel. The history

of sadness begins and gets off

one exit too soon, is expanded

like a sponge in water within

the space of transition, followed

by the process of learning

streets in an unwanted city, after being

the 8th plane in line

on the runway during

a 2-hour delay, with perfect weather where you are

and unknown weather where you are going.

D is for Darth



Death offered himself to me

politely        Amy I won’t lie       I like you

in an Irish pub


Usually it’s comedians or poets raised by wolves

who fart their way toward me


offering themselves

thus requiring many conversations

with my friends

to call heads or tails in the air

to see the fun house mirrors

warp good to bad

or green to red


New York I love you

But the pit is turning back to fruit

turns sunfire into the blue on snow

Calling the kettle up ring ring ring ring

The future looking different

when I’m not drunk every yesterday

Putting V to D











just witnessed












There are small ways


to be cruel


to each other:




kisses that land


only half


on the lips the way






within space


the way nothing


is the same even when


it’s the same two


people walking the same


two blocks holding


the same


two hands.


AMY LAWLESS is the author of two collections of poetry: My Dead (Octopus Books, 2013) and Noctis Licentia (Black Maze Books, 2008). She was a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow. Some of her prose has recently appeared in BOMBlog and HTMLGIANT. She teaches at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and lives in Manhattan.


ANGELA VERONICA WONG is the author of how to survive a hotel fire (Coconut Books 2012). Her collaborative poems with Amy Lawless have appeared in several journals including Ping*Pong and The Common, and will be anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2013. She is on the Internet at