Old railcars on an unused line
stand forgotten. Decay.
And overgrown weeds.
I regret this fortune.
It was never our intention that night
but then the wild moon
and the orange dress
and the curve of the river.
There was the devil at the store front
window splattered in blood who
“It’s just a skip stone step ladies
and gentlemen. Just a skip stone
step. Here you go.
Holding hands we laughed
at our dark reflections. The smell
of liquorice bringing a hell
“Samuel, Samuel, why do you talk about the rail cars?”
She moved with a pretentious walk which
Rust settles into my bones
and weeds claw at my lungs.
The air was hot and humid
and with how her hips
shaped that dress…
never mind. Along the tree
lined thoroughfare, the cries
were drowned out
by music from a nearby
Her breath was so close
and the river so
Rail cars stand neglected.
I am the fortunate oracle of regret.
We were complicit in a mutual
denial. Her lips on me.
“Why the railcars, dear Samuel?”
My hand on her thigh
just a skip stone
The water pooled and swirled. A vision
of stars was muted.
There are never any images in my mind.
Or more specifically the shadows of words.
You don’t understand.
I am not a living soul.
Or a living man.
Just a ruined afterthought.
We step outside and into
our private asylum.
A strangling maze strips
us and closes
I pull up an umbrella and under it
we listen to the water fall.
The puddles freeze.
You recall how one time on a drive as a child the sunlight
came through the windshield
of your father’s truck
bathing the cabin in a sickly whiteness
and highlighting the deep cracks and crevices
on the skin of his left hand
which gripped the steering wheel in a lazy confidence,
slightly off center,
to the right.
“There was this customonial boundary
that I became aware of, then,” you tell me. “A limitation
imposed in all of us by design.”
I become frightened by this
and would shut my eyes
but fear losing you if I should.
“And how this barrier is real.
How it roots an eternal
and separates our perception.
It’s a garden that exists in the paradise
of a scorched earth.
There is a beauty in how
desperate it is.”
Check the thesaurus for my horoscope.
I’m an associate by guilt,
at the table,
bragging on about how cells lock down
the open frontier.
Wild West Maître D’ signals cryptic
(tap-te-tap tap-te-te-tap tap) to the
Underworld Boss for a dance
They strike me as the unruly sort
Oh, but your be stilled aerie becomes a gaseous
membrane; a monument to
distance of sanity. I force myself into the
water beads on my vodka tonic glass and
absorb the world.
Little eyes and thorny beaks
interrupt an otherwise pleasant
They are the shadows of a catastrophe.
They keep us ahead of the
“I think these crows here mate in a
Jupiterian orbit. If not, what would be
My hand is bloody and I forgot the name
of the waiter.
We partisan to a fault so to
jettison the rest to posterity.
I don’t know an early hour from a late
We were young.
We were young…
and the faces
A matter of hegemony.
Here it is one AM
and I hate the shape of
But at the beginning,
at that pink beginning
there was between us
a marginal trust
clung to cracks in the volcanic rock
at the edge of an organic
I won’t pretend.
Not with the waves and the
mist and the laughter
on the sage scented breeze.
It was too
delicate to pretend.
all indebted to us.
A lightsphere covers over the red.
We left only white
and oily, black mud.
Cover our daughter. Instill in her
a locust heart.
It is not a covenant we can make.
She in the den with rich mahogany eyes
reads Milton with distrust.
“How far is love?
Is it boundless as the green?” she asks,
and I am held breathless.
Captive and suffering.
“There is a danger in the silhouette, you see?
The sheer guise it represents,
the madness that’s found in the contours
of the body.
Contempt drives us, though. It is our one shared
virtue,” she laughs
while crossing the room, the light slowly failing
with each step
against her rising shadow.
Her arms are defenseless, and yet they respond
only with pearled indifference
to the slightest touch
of chill in the air.
She shifts the weight of her loneliness delicately
into me. She grows
as I diminish
I am the small god worthlessly seeking penance.
Fastened to the stone. Cast into the dark under-
of a deprived world.
She devours my restraints.
Out and beyond the waking sun drifts blind.
The countryside falls into ruin.
If we could disguise our minds
crimson dark and rest under
the emotional imbalance it
may afford, what then?
And what now?
I don’t bring salvation. Only
interruptions between waves
Bring us together.
Where white streets bleed into
the yellow sky
I overhear a lover’s confession, shared
tenderly, secretly on
angels breath, and feel my flesh crawl.
The prophecy of rain beats into us. It’s
life attested. A crawling illusion
sundered, seeping into cracks
of adopted skin.
Electric winds blow.
Trace lines of communication. To
remain oblivious, we speak.
Words desperately littered into instruments
of our own abandonment. But
let’s go. Let’s watch as the oregano blooms
in the garden.
Our feet cooled by bare stones.
I don’t answer the door. It’s an instinctive habit. Blake is at The Polis. He goes there for the fountains.
There is a disturbed young man who visits me in the afternoons. He likes to talk politics. It might be him. At the door I mean. But I can’t risk it.
I look at the magazine. It is next to the knife I used to cut my orange for breakfast. I stare at it and think of the ballet I attended the other night (and how the light in the car didn’t work so I couldn’t find my glasses).
There is Circular Logic. It only asks that I am obedient. It says if I obey then maybe. Maybe. Like a mom would when negotiating with her child a toy settlement. If he should be a good boy. For just a little bit at least okay. Just be a good boy.
I go to the bathroom medicine cabinet to get the rest of my whisky. There is another knock on the door and I get the same feeling that I have anytime someone responds to me.
I open my mouth to try to answer. Something like Go Away. Or Just Come In Already The Damn Thing Is Unlocked. But nothing comes out. So I pour my whisky sit on the toilet and drink instead.
Out the window there are some birds and electrical wires. The two are not connected. The birds are flying. They remind me of a girl at work who sometimes appears in the break room when I am there. She is cute. We have never spoken.
Finishing my drink I get up and get another and go to the front door and look out the peep-hole. There is no one there. I open the door to air out the house.
People are talking nearby. I can’t hear what they say. Circular Logic urges me to play Tony Bennett. I do though I don’t like him too much and lounge on the couch.
There was a story of aliens way out in space that I think about who invented an impulse drive that allowed them to be in two places at once. That way they did not have to leave their loved ones. I believe NPR reported it.
The young man disturbed of politics comes by and asks if he can come in. I don’t answer and just close my eyes. Circular Logic says I am being rude but I put on Tony Bennett for it so it doesn’t press the issue.
Disturbed comes in and takes one of my cigarettes. He is on a tear about the president. Or maybe on the national parks. It is kind of hard to follow what with Mr. Tony crooning and my general lack of interest. I fall asleep in hopes to avoid nausea. Blake should be back soon and he can sort everything out. He is always refreshed after visiting the fountains.