was never a conversation with Susie,
grunted words slung from a passing swing
breathless banter rolled from the high
of the teeter-totter.
is no voice to recall, only a plaid dress
over a white blouse. The same dress worn
after day, which murmured its own words
the dark tongue of her ponytail.
the end of the year, after I had pissed
pants because someone hadn’t flipped
red circle hanging on the restroom door
green, Susie finally had something to say.
looked across two aisles and she pointed
finger at me, then touched it to the corner
her eye. She repeated the motions. Slowly
her legs she lowered the finger
aimed it between them, at the yellow panties.
have never read Robert Fulghum’s book,
I damn-well know that he didn’t learn
and Low Tide
tsunami of Somali boys ripped over the threshold.
scattered like bits of seashells and filled aisles
a black tide. Hands lapped at the store shelves,
to be quicker than the eye. Tense minutes
ebb and flow passed before we told them to get out.
oldest, the pre-pimple alpha thief, asked what
would do to shoplifters. I snatched the fisherman’s
from my pocket and stung my palm with a slap,
I’d wait until the prick walks out the door—
has to be legal—then creep up behind him,
him viciously on the head time after time after
A sea of blood would spew into the gutter.
I would pick some weeds, sweep the sidewalk,
out the garbage and wait and wait before calling
rescue squad. Poor brainless bastard would scorch
a beached porpoise. Come, boys, see the weeds in my
Look at the sand on my sidewalk and those full
cans.” Behind me I heard shuffling feet recede across
threshold and squawks from a flustered flock of gulls.
Morning at the Diner
went to the convention,
was alright I guess,
they had these young girls
to serve that shit
called la-tay and capacini.
wouldn’t drink it,
I got a whole muddy river
through my place
looks just like the crap
claimed was coffee.
told ‘em come on to my town,
hop over to the diner,
a big ‘un, black.
that’s coffee that’ll flutter your tongue,
you panties past your knees,
if you want it to look like
muddy-ass river you can either
it full of cream, or go scoop
cup of river water.
giggled, then the one with the little
said they weren’t allowed
leave the convention center.
was probably for good cause.
would likely both drown,
though the river
only peter-deep in most places.