This Is Your Job

Take your tongue honey
And squash it up
Inside your mouth
Don’t let the words come out.
Just read the script
The way you should
Have those butterflies,
So obvious in your quaking hands,
Suffocate on the dioxide
Because no one has time
For anything else
But your handbagging
Pretty smile
And manicure nails

Know your place sweetheart
And just read the words we wrote
True or not
Say yes
Sir

Paint Some Trees

It doesn’t snow here
The ice would marry the red dirt
And the ghost gumtrees
Would become a canvas
For blood red handprints

I see my breath instead
Winter catching in my throat
Like a secret
Cold stuck in my lungs
Like a disease

The icy breeze gets in my knuckles
It swells my bones
And scares my body
From the inside out
Pushing needles through my skin

Fifty years from now
When the cold is too much
And my body old
I will envy the very day
I am living now

Best go paint some trees

 

 

 

My titles

I don’t want to be a rural library

Full of expected titles

Thrillers with predicted deaths

And echoed romances

A hero atrophied by his own ego

Loving a sugary woman with closed lips

Chapters of long gazes and held breaths

A history book finishing at 1984

And incorrect African geography

 

I want to be the tiny bookstore

With a blue front door

Only found by a strange set of wooden stairs

I want second hand titles

No one has read since 1972

A little slip of paper between pages 48 and 49

A pressed ticket to a Bowie concert

In the front

And a receipt for three months rent

In the back

 

I want to be a secret

By The Side Of The Road

“Naw Baby, ” he says with a smirk.
“Did you forget your meds?”
Taking off a wedding ring
He puts it on the faded dashboard.

I touch my wrist
Where my heart beats rapidly.
“Kicking on like hummingbird,” I tell him.
“You dead then? You’ve got them numb cheeks.”

“What’s that mean?” When he talks,
He hisses out his ‘s’ sounds
Like a stuttering snake. He’s fiddling with his zipper now.

“It means your face is falling like a dead man’s.”

“When’ve you ever seen a dead man?”
He laughs because he doesn’t know a damn thing.

“Lookin at one right now.”
Before he can do a thing
I push a fork in his eye.
While he screams,
Hands sliding,
Grabbing at the bloodied weapon
I unlock all the doors of the car
And run
With his wallet, three cards and a fist full of cash.

Mama’ll be so proud.