What to Do with Poems

Too many promises to feed, too many begging eyes,
far too many sticky tendrils pawing at my afternoons.

I composted what I could of the old timers,
not the inorganics of metal, tooth, and glass.

I coaxed the conjoined twins into a box, poking holes in the lid.
They whined like a slow air leak from the navy postbox.

I left the villain outside the fire station on Third.
No note, just its jaundice cheeks to speak my sins.

I lead the alpha away with black licorice and diamonds.
We drew circles until the woods were all it knew.

I trained the free-spirit to use a pen and fill out medical forms.
It forgets my birthday and remembers grandfather’s diabetes.

Of course, I serve the ones who looked like me
using silver inlay plates that cannot be microwaved.

They sleep in the house with secrets and broken curfews.
Famed for their imagery, they boast I was born this way–

forgetting their skin is the recycled matter of old timers,
lisping the secret language of twins with alpha intuition.

They are born to cannibalize, drink the fridge’s fluorocarbon,
wreck away the day, glowing-in-the-dark with my leftovers.

Quiet! Neighbors beg. I miss the sound of simultaneous sleeping.
I walk out past the garden, strawberries fill up spiny bone cages.

Past the woods, a rescue and wild cross-bred, littering a den.
Past the city, garbage catches the wind, adopted into open doors.

Past the break, where the water is frothy and opaque.
I join the lost ones who grew gills before I asked them to leave.

First Published in Fever Dream, Winter 2022 Issue

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