--ALL MY FRIENDS ARE TURNING GREEN
I’ll Take You There
Behind the mad house, past barns and farms, into the woods where a brook gurgles over cabochons, we escape, wading in barefoot. Sun glints off water sleeves, illuminating our scars. I take your small hand. You suck a deep breath. “Don’t look back,” I say. The open field on the other side stares at us like the great eye of a bank safe whose combination only we know.
Panic my heart
like acid rain
searing holes through me.
Then at least feel my flesh,
how hard it’s gotten,
chilled like a tombstone.
It’s absurd, really,
I miss you.
These Are the Times That Call For Murder
At the party there are plate-throwers in your eyes. You’ve donned Obsession and wear a red dress.
You never wear red.
I watch you waltz between all those hairy-handed men with their lip-balmed bangs. They stink of nicotine and cinnamon Altoids but you don’t bother, you only curtsy and giggle.
You never giggle.
I get sick in my napkin, stringy yellow stuff like a contaminated egg, and I can’t help but think,
that these are the times that call for murder.
The guy you leave with looks like my Uncle Phil. He and Phil both have hatchet-shaped sideburns and hands the size of catcher mitts. This guy puts his palm against the small of your back where my hot breath has loitered in past years. Over his shoulder, he winks at a barman. This is the part where I storm across the room and beat him bloody so that you can see how strong I’ve gotten without you, but the truth is I’m kind of tipsy and it’s later than I thought. Besides, every movie has to end eventually, even shitty ones like this.
You Know I Know
The man in the window
is make believe.
The wounds you have are self-inflected.
The love you are trying to withhold
was never yours to give.
In the mornings I run miles before the others wake, while the sun is just bending over to tie it’s laces, the air thick like freezer air, and there is always this muzzled dog that greets me on mile seven, tearing up ground and grass and gravel, batting the diamonds of a sagging cyclone fence with his leather-gagged snout, hot snot slickening the metal. I wonder what the owner has done to make him so angry, ropy with wrath. When I look back the animal has a new trick, pawing a path below the fence. Muzzle or not, he’s going to get his vengeance on.
When I hear of my wife kissing another man and confront her, she says, “Tsk tsk. You need to appreciate the distinction between art and life.”
“But you’re not an actress,” I say.
To wit she asks, “How can you be so sure?”
She says we should try role play. She purchases items and outfits. She diagrams scenes on oversized note cards. She adds stick figure drawings with different poses and the golf ball heads making unusual facial expressions, their twig limbs gesturing to whatever it is the other is up to. She rehearses each scene, saying the lines to herself, a bit thrilled and overjoyed with herself.
When it comes time to put in practice, to test the waters, she yawns wide as a lion. “I was only joking,” she says. Then, “You sure are gullible.”