The Sole Keeper
We are called tinkers, but this is a euphemism, the way we call garbage men waste management technicians, and executioners life eradication specialists. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the job is what it sounds like.
First I married the breakfast cereal in its small cardboard chapel, wax-coated, into which I poured milk.
Pigs and Stock Boys
Their eyes are watching me. They know, sure they do. These Longs Drugs pigs and stock boys will fry my ass. Pigs, I got that last night from a James Cagney movie. I wasn’t supposed to watch it, but I snuck down into the basement late and kept the volume real low.
Sometimes in the morning when I’m waking I feel like my mother is alive and my father is dead. Other times I feel she is dead and he is alive, which is actually the state of things.
Bird in a bell jar,
the rain can’t reach you here,
can’t plump your shriveled skin
or bead on your bright beak.
We build a gaggle of grandparents
out of a sunset & a rabbit warren.
Inside that gaggle, place the matriarch
with a griffin’s head.
from her mouth.
We call her the Juggernaut.
in la belle france he sends me letters full of chess moves—pawn to c4—& i do not write back tho he pleads w/ me write back only text him—the pawns stampede northward, the pawns all read ovid, oh we are changed
I have bought the same brand of low-sodium almonds
that you keep in a small container on your desk. I know
how you like to incorporate healthy fats into your diet.
For days now I have been coming in while you are at lunch
and filling back up your container with those same nuts.
If I drop napalm
on an ant hill, of course
they’ll scatter. Some will die.
On Independence Day, Bev and Raúl sat on the porch and watched little Fancy Hurd light homemade fireworks on her father’s unruly lawn. Gene Hurd’s grass was already too long in some sections and blighted in others, so Bev didn’t see what difference a few scorch marks would make.
He woke up with three bullet holes in his back. The wounds had not been there when he fell asleep, but now they were scabbed over, a miracle. He tried to look at the bullet holes in the mirror, turning his neck awkwardly and painfully, the flesh on his neck twisting.
Dorothy & the Tin Man
The magazines sink the trunk into the carpet. For years I’ve said I’ll go through them all and throw out most, but I’ve kept them as much as a hoarder keeps cereal boxes, and I have not gone through any of them ‘til now.
Small in Real Life
A moonlit night, warm and loose, and the party in the Hollywood Hills was taking off. Louis grabbed Roberta’s hand and led her past the crowd on Jay’s patio toward the house. He had ideas resting on these folks and what they could do for him. What they would do.
Luxury condos sprout in unused forests
Especially seagulls have taken over the parking lot
Warlocks target ordinary citizens with debt lasers
Favorite flavors include lunchbox & seatbelt