--MAYBE YOU SHOULD APPROACH ME SIDEWAYS
…I went to a Christmas party in Seattle last night, which was a lot of fun, but man oh man was it cold this morning.
When I got home I found out I had these poems accepted and published in Colours Journal:
I heard the bullet hiss through the black-holed night. I watched the drugstore window shatter, the clerk’s pistol smoking as you slumped like rags.
It was supposed to be easy money but we never figured on Eddy turning.
Now time is nothing is everything is too much balloon skin, stretching and contracting like a rubber sack that holds me captive.
I lean against an object, never a person. You would have bought me pretty things with lace, new dolls, a porch swing.
I’ve kept your remnants—Sex Pistols sweatshirt, your Kerouac book, a skeleton key. But the bullet, that is the piece of you I covet most.
For Christmas I am given a tool set. Unwrapped, it consumes the kitchen table. My typewriter sets on the linoleum floor, a heap of springs and metal. Mother watches Father who picks bacon from his teeth and tells me, “Go ahead, I want to see this. Fix the thing.”
There is a Mark
Cops and reporters came
with their carnival barker noise,
nighttime lit up like the Fourth
by sirens and generators.
For a while this was the place to be,
last stop at the end of the world,
gangs getting even,
bludgeoning a little girl.
Now all that’s here is a mark,
a wine stained-Venezuela.
Some days I pull out the book she gave me, bloated thick from the rain.
If I could read it, I would.
But I never cry and I don’t sweat anymore because
my blood is made of concrete
and my dreams are steel.
Cat sweaters and puppet clothes lay on the floor by your sister’s doll house,
small as quilt squares.
The naked Barbies wait to be dressed
and Ken is blind or bored
but your sister is rocking and slapping herself convulsing.
You take her hand away the same as removing a strand of hair.
You hold her palm, tell a joke and there in the laughter
I find a resemblance,
how her mongoloid eyes are lit with your same sense of wonder.
In the doorway saying goodbye,
sideways rain pimples your cheek,
sounding tinny on the gutters,
and you ask,
“What? What are you smiling about?”
The good thief watches while
we soak in a night-blackened sea of shimmering oil,
water that makes us weightless
even as you kick and paddle.
We’ll be old soon enough.
Now the stars urge us to write songs or
yodel so that our laughter rifles through the sky.
The waves rock us like babies.
They slurp across our slick skins
and beckon us to kiss,
kiss deep and long
as lovers do.