New York City Bones

Rabbit

a dull thud
that’s all there was
she ran in a circle
then collapsed on the ground
just another rabbit hit by a car

I was on the sidewalk
and stepped out into traffic
stopping the next car from
finishing her off

she was terrified, but breathing
I couldn’t tell how bad it was
thought for a moment that she
might still have a chance

so I scooped up her tiny body
held her gently in my hands
as the drivers laid on their horns

her leg twisted around backwards
her left eye and ear were gone
blood poured out of her mouth
onto the ground

she was shaking as I laid her
on a soft spot in the grass
then sat with her until she
passed away

now she’s a sad memory
that I can’t shake
and it’s strange to think
if I walked by ten minutes later
she would have been
just another rodent dead on the road

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Cleopatra

poised and motionless
mysterious and calm
she is invisible
to the outside world

she demands attention
with a voice
both powerful and small
demanding to be noticed,
to be loved

she never kisses on the lips
she never shares her bed
and she’s always out of reach
just by a little

she’ll stare into your eyes
make you forget who you are
she’s as dangerous as you
want her to be

Seven Poems

here I go again
mumbling something about rats
hungry for crumbs
folding clothes for job interviews
ticking away like a nautical mine

flipping like a dolphin in a game
of solitaire
reading office-related humor
even though I’ve never worked in one
and typing structureless phrases

I’ve written seven poems tonight
what have you been doing?
having a life, I guess

Perfect Game

I made the three ball on the break
walked around the table
he was dribbling beer on his shirt
“seven, corner pocket”
I tapped and sunk the seven
he was grabbing at the waitress
as he drank another beer

I made the four and the one
in consecutive shots
“hurry up,” he slurred,
“I gotta take a piss”
I nailed the two on a bank shot
waited for him to return
he came back bellowing some tune

I called the five in the corner
it went according to plan
“don’t fuck it up now!” he laughed
as if he said something clever
I called a tricky shot
and spent a while taking aim
then sent the six into the side
all the stripes still on the table

there was a cluster of them
between the cue and the eight
I didn’t have much of a shot
he chugged another beer and belched
“if you make this shot, I’m not
playing anymore”
that was all the incentive I needed

I struck right underneath the cue ball
so it leapt over the barrier
knocked the eight ball in the corner
I had played a perfect game
he dropped his stick and hollered
“fuckity fuckity fuck!”

money changed hands
then I went back to my table
ordered a beer for myself
the best game of pool I ever played
had just been wasted

Blush

my lover unfolds
beautiful and open
she wears a tired smile
and the sheets are in knots

sometimes I still get nervous
when she pulls me in close
and she opens like a flower
and the planets align

she’s poured into my window
with a voice like summer rain
filling up the room and I’m surrounded

I see her peeking at the clock
and twisting into knots
she says, “you should keep me
up a little bit longer”

Japan

sleeplessness has struck again
but I won’t make a sound
our apartment is small
and I’ve kept her up late
she deserves a good night’s sleep
without me tinkering around

she likes having me in bed with her
and I like being there
but my mind is like a speed train
and my pen is down the hall
so for now, I’ll lie in bed and
let my thoughts go to waste

Mission Bells

laughing like hyenas
in New York City bones
filing cabinet homes
painting with their fingers
spare hand on the trigger
guns under their chins
and we’re at war, I’m told

laser-guided altar boys
who didn’t say their prayers
bodies in the freezer
pockets full of paper trails
salted pork and liquid nails
they slap around a shuttlecock
and we’re at war, I’m told

with someone old and someone new
and they still play our song
the pots are boiling over
spitting like a Brooklyn Dodger
no one gives a damn
two lovers dancing in the kitchen
and we’re at war, I’m told

barflies sucking cigarettes
and pissing on the floor
chasing carrots on a string
crawling through the desert streets
with opiates and shells
swearing loud as mission bells
and we’re at war, I’m told

hiding in the sewer pipes
and bunkers underground
rats the size of alligators
the protesters are bored and tired
the devil’s chin is curved
we’ve been at war since God was born
and no one gives a damn