OXIDANT | ENGINE : Issue 1
Outside a man is screaming,
my window open, so inside he is screaming too.
I keep picking at an enchilada
I bought hours ago, taking a few bites
before closing the lid, an hour later
reopening the lid, to find
that it’s gotten bigger, the red sauce
redder, the pico de gallo
suddenly full of corn. The man
I love is directing actors in Westwood,
while a man I do not love
is washing egg yolks
off his car, which are the same color
as the patient I visited
at seven this morning, who’d been dead
for two hours when I came by to ask
if he was in pain. Maybe
if I re-watch the old cartoon in which a man
kicks the spots off a turtle, I’ll understand something
about the fragility
of selfhood, about trespass.
Maybe if I have a beer, if I finish
this enchilada, this feeling of want
will go away. But want, like cancer,
tends only to multiply, like the cries of a man
who has lost something
for which he never had a name.
LOS ANGELES IN THIRTY FRAMES
An X-Acto knife. A muscle spasm. A pack of AA batteries. A stairwell. A woman who stares at ceiling fans. A blue-throated lizard. A mushroom. A needle that does what needles do. A light switch. An antacid. A pile of piano keys. A beehive. A husband kissing his wife. A knee kissing a curb. A karaoke bar. A urine sample. A virus inside a bloodstream. A pill inside a woman. A baby tooth. A bag of popcorn. A broken condom. A dog walker. A flea market that sells only mirrors. A rape joke. A smoothie. A nude photo. A freeway overpass. A gun leaving its holster. Blood leaving a body. A man looking to set something on fire. Perhaps himself.