OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 2
Ballad for Glass Gun
Afternoon sky a cobalt circus. Cloud clowns
and the unworn wedding gown of snow
at our feet. We are falling in love with the dead
bodies that wash to shore, the cold cash
deal the soul makes with surrender.
So we grow our hands into funeral doves.
We kneel for those no longer in need.
The witches sacrifice their power, the electricity
of their skin now a hospital decision. This country
is not a country but a needle between toes
and the quiet hallway of ghosts the eyes roll back
through. Join the chorus drug party. Shoot up
or be shot up. The kids’ mouths balloon
into political cartoons. The collective mantra
is hurt. The required capital is everything you own.
Bodies are washing to shore, countless, unaccounted.
The Silence Between The Silence Between
No one is leaving you. No one is
taking your heart
like a Slinky and walking it down
the creaking stairs
to hell. Get over yourself. The moon
isn’t your chalkboard.
Zebras lie down in the thick center
of darkness and still
no lion comes. Fish roil through
the wet balloon
of a whale and even whales forget
imagine you’re at a dinner party
is drinking in your honor. God
smiles a rainbow
out the window. Imagine the best
sex or a new drug
or the idea that happiness is more
than pleasure. If joy
lives in the backseat of a convertible
imagine your middle
name is Nevada. Gamble everything
you never owned.
No one is leaving you yet. No one
loves you enough to.
If I could float a helicopter out of my volcanic mouth. If I could horse walk and kneel. Some days salvation feels like the back of a mother’s hand along my drawbridge forehead. Testing for temperature. Human mercury. Others, it’s just a cuss, a dead rabbit curled in a forgotten top hat. All the good we leave behind for a light dose of magic. All the glory we set gore to. I keep trying to rescue your drowning face in my dreams but there are fingers holding me back. They snake across my cheeks, probe my orifices, push me under. It’s quieter in the water where both our eyes are open sores. You’re smiling with your insides. Above us they’re lowering a rope ladder. A hand the size of forgiveness. This is where decisions are made. Where swallowing shifts from verb to noun. When a heartbeat becomes nothing more than a paperclip on a magnet. Somewhere a car is spinning off the highway. A forest is on fire, first wildflower then ash. You’re signaling to me like a baby whale. You want to sleep in the folds. If I blow you a kiss, let it be a finch, something similar to, but not quite gold. A symbol for the all the ways we’ve failed each other. Let it fly off like old beliefs.