Palms taller than power poles
that yield neither dates
nor the thinnest shadows
to take refuge in
stand in crooked but perfect
uselessness. And yet, Continue reading
This land has been abandoned,
plowed once more
in a last act of faith Continue reading
There’s something off-putting about someone placing a hand on a hip while they urinate. I am sitting in lukewarm bath water, soapy and scrubbed. And he turns from the vanity mirror, his fluffy bathrobe still open. He strolls his portly belly over to the toilet and, throwing back the half of robe nearest me and leaving his hand there on his tan-lined hip, begins pissing. His aim is weak, as is the stream which smells of asparagus. This is all easier to take in than his stubby sausage-fingers pressing and pulling on the loose leathery skin draped over his probably prosthetic hip. I stare. His phallus hangs discolored and veiny and he shakes the drippings from the tip. I bring my hands to my chest, aware in this moment of his gaze, feeling a brief instinct to hide. He lowers the toilet seat with a stretched grin and drops his fat ass on to it, the inevitable slap only muffled by the thick robe. I bring my gaze back up from the murky water, pausing between his knees. He’s now become devastatingly erect. And a look of muffled dismay must’ve snuck through my dark bangs, because he says, “I just want you to watch me, Bella.” Continue reading
On I-75 someplace flat
Miami and Tampa
(the alligators snake through swampgrass
the fields wheat or water
the highway might collapse&consume me)
This car is a sea-scrap shell—I’m a hermit crab
growing monstrous in an artificial womb.
The storm broke up
Cuba and Miami when it hit
Hollywood scattered splotches
foaming skies on I-95
Things fell apart slowly. I knew my luck was going when I began losing at the card tables. It was a small shift. I’d been on a streak while I stayed in New Orleans. Every third or fourth day, I walked to Harrah’s. All I knew how to play was blackjack, and I didn’t know if it was a winner’s game or not. I’d heard that if you played the odds at craps, you could ensure a slow and steady income. But that’s not what I did. I followed the generally suggested rules of play, took chances when compelled to, and left the casino with two, three hundred dollars each visit. It wasn’t high stakes, but I’d known what it felt like to be a winner. After my streak turned, I walked out of the casino two, three hundred dollars poorer twice a week, and I knew things had shifted. I was no longer in the good graces of whatever spirits I’d appointed to guide me.
Last Halloween you splattered fake blood all over a sexy nurse costume and went as “Malpractice.” Your boyfriend didn’t think it was funny, but he doesn’t think anything is funny. He’s in his last year of college, studying psychology. You don’t understand how you can study feelings. You like to imagine him recording the salt concentration of tears. Your mother always tells you he’s the smartest man you’ll ever get.
He asked you why you couldn’t just be a regular sexy nurse, why you could never just be sincere. Continue reading