Evanescence

Eyes wide beside you, I trace the path
of headlights from slick roadways
beyond the glass. It is 2am.

No waxing swell of moon presses
its yellow ribbons through cracks
to aid my vision. The air is weary

tonight. The streetlight blooms
over your profile, then flickers and dies.
Instead of sheep, I count the silences

between us. You turn your back to me
in sleep. My palm hovers, feels warmth
rise from your sheeted form, withdraws.

First published at Mad Hatters’ Review
http://networkedblogs.com/oxdAG

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Midlife

The summer disappeared too quickly
and yet the light still burns the hills
these late afternoons for far too long.
Our hands grow smaller. We’ve learned,
finally, not to reach beyond ourselves.
We resemble one another
but cannot reassemble the lovers
who have vanished. Each evening,
we speak with bright razors
stashed beneath our tongues, slash
toward each others jugular, cut
new wounds to expose the blood rush
that gratifies but can never replace desire.

First published at Mad Hatters’ Review
http://networkedblogs.com/oxdAG

For the Lost Boys

A milky-eyed dog yips in dreams. Gray muzzle, matted hair, a limp his medal of heroic dog battles with buses and postman shoes. A tattered tail batons a medley of insect song on a shotgun house’s back porch. A brave dog, he fought to acquire important dog things: squirrel tartare, whisker of cat, abundant fornication; his boy’s gentle hand only a wag away. Things happen to young black boys at the bottom of this place. An education stands no shield when drunken blood sport bullets by with the flash of a gang sign, a chain’s sharp edges, and a singing Mac10 to obliterate a face. Banded black arms strain against the pull of brass handles bolted into wood. A mother’s legs give way, and she must be carried to her chair. The raw earth beneath the mourners’ feet is covered with a cape of green. The future of a family is buried in Reverend Gray’s churchyard as an old dog waits at home. Blind, the dog points his nose to the crowd shuffling into the empty house searching for the scent of a boy who will never become a man.

originally published in The Legendary October, 2011. http://www.downdirtyword.com/fictionpage.html