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That gruesome scheme of the crest-and-hump crowd
Filling in wished-away quirks outside no lines
Nights in the hallow suds
Trembling hands pocketed for no further absolution
Your downing’s just another’s fitful rise
Too temperamental for plastic artifacts
Always affected and in constant constraint

Beside the bedside there is a puffy dust
Lint’s justice bitten and meted in

Pour the coffee
Dear
We’re seven haircuts past forgiving
And nobody’s tearing up over your yearbook photo
On the terrace
Wearing black-and-teal sneakers
Or pasting tacky pearls on Jesuit robes
In the calibrations that never stick
We’ve parlayed our better times
Into shorts and sunglasses and spent penny pensions
While the cowboy music stirs us like whipped-up cocktails
And calm’s its only down
Makes a like fall apart for a new like to take its place

It’s the things you never plan on
That tend to separate people from angels
Twitching to the universe’s unstable rhythm
As the whisky pools like tiny destinies on the tiles
As your head mends just to swell and crack all over again

A can of Hamm’s to have and to hold
So you cannot or do not have to feel terrible and crappy all over
A felt pen’s whiff and the walls curse themselves to life
Prickled to this mustered heave
Out of the washer and into the window
Wrinkles like ants to spread
Drenched to a palm’s touch
We ran with the faucet once
And you
You had a cello-shaped scar on your abdomen
Where my hands would find their only way to
In all the before that came after us

Just wait
You goddamn darling you

We’ve got stun guns and dirtier jokes
Pistachio lips and olive fingers
Bare limbs and ransacked memories to trample the vintage to
With the left essentials in a booth’s torn Naugahyde
But you never cared for living so close to carpet’s bunched dying
Where the closet meets the kitchen’s clipped corner
Resting so heavy on the backwash
Of dreams we painted ourselves into
And I’ve already forgotten how to spell your last name

The only writer who matters

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