ROUGH CUT

My only defense

Is supposed to be a smile

Bluebird born with brown feathers

I never learned the rhythm of flight

And you are everything I wish I could blossom into


Blackberry juice you spilled across my collarbone sharp & deft

A hand on my cheek like a promise

Lightning strike singing

I know where consistent morning leaves me. Still

I sink my teeth in

Did you ever consider

I do know better

But I like the way it tastes

Unexpected morning like the sweet before the bitter

I’ve never had a vice before you




GOLDEN CALF

Slipping underneath the same green black water of my childhood

A wave no bigger than normal, bass boat passes

Something seething beneath, loud whoop echoes off the embankment

A city entombed when they flooded for real estate raises

I sink into a current and open my eyes

Here a home, here a child’s front yard

Maybe this is the year the dam will burst during repairs

Rerun history and crack the coffin

Run again along the Wyse Ferry Bridge

Scale the wings of a B-25 Mitchell and apologize

To the thousands of headstones no grandson can weep over

‘Built on the backs of’ is always an understatement

This is the south and we look up religiously to watch the Purple Marlins

Of course, Miss Murray, we worship your sunsets

Piss drunk and getting high on the back of a boat

Heedless of the land that cannot breathe beneath our bare feet.




AN ITCH

My reflection between closing doors

Discovering cheekbones

Daydreams of monday afternoons with no rent to pay and no unlovable person on the end of the 1 line. Back to free weed and skinny dipping after dark.

At my desk in homeroom

A bell rings; I hear the earnest plucking of strings

The boy with the quick juicy fingers

And the ignorance of 17 mixes pop rocks and coke in my mouth

Meteor shower at my back and grass in my nose

Everything loud and blank, still new car smell untouchable

When you still ripple with every syllable of your own name


Each time I leave I’m sure I’ll come home to ashes

Not sure enough to turn around

Secretly wishing an apartment building demolished by a hair appliance

A more interesting excuse to start from scratch

To move away from the street with your last name.


He had the most beautiful hands

And I stand here looking like my mother

Watching the swirl of white in my eyes

Little specks of dark green realization

Mint leaves floating on ice.