In a Mouth / In a Pool

there’s nothing but teeth
and sky and sharp wind shrieking
out until slapped / skin and sunbreak
risen water suspended after a cannonball
plunge / eyes closed we split
through chlorine like we’re chemically
bound / to renewal but how artificial
we fill ourselves with air and float / eyes
up at the clouds and a single plane
descends / toward LAX and we know
how it ends: a little shake / in the landing
and diminished speed recalling
the turbulence / that dove
from glass mansions

 

(originally published in After the Pause, Fall 2017)

American Prayer

Why did an apple tree
grow in my backyard?
That’s where the swimming
pool was supposed to go.

I ask not for much.

A well-placed tornado, maybe.
Another plague, perchance,
to rot its every root.

Then a demon, perhaps.
Lucifer the Lumberjack,
chainsaw in hand,
could tempt the tree
with Eve, eat its fruits,
then chop it down, though
trees don’t love women
like I do.

Look, I know it’s not practical.
Jesus didn’t wear a crown of thorns
from an apple tree
but I bear a malus cross
and don’t want to give money
to a heathen
who cuts down
a tree for me.
I could do that by myself,
if I really wanted to. I really
want to buy that pool.

I’m tired of the silence.
I know it’s easier for you
to use your superpowers
to turn the tree into a Bible
that smells like a chomped-in
red delicious. If you do that
I will sue you.

 

(originally published in Cake & Grapes – Vol. I, Issue II)

Five-Star Hotel

Starlight is not equal in the petroleum sky.
Homes know the ocean
but not their owners– cliff’s edge.

Striated fireworks stake and fall,
hurriedly carted by fragile marbles.

Oil salts the earth to lust–
a red akin to blood
and romance seen in films,
romanticism violently envisioned
and burrowed for the claw
of the excavator, millionaire muck
gushed from leaking faucets.
The piping is consistent:
the toilets flush twice– to be sure.

These are where the fingerprints mingle
to create their own pulse– voyeur beats.

So fill your tank with Grey Goose.
Drink Utopia first. There is no price
for luxury but the cost in lost days–
my treat.

 

(originally published in altered form in Little River – Issue #4)