Everything is sinking–

while a man is singing opera in
San Francisco. He heightens
his pitch as the gulf coast
shatters like a cage.
I used to know him before

the toothed gears of water
and its punishing eye. I was ten
when he meant to come for us,
to follow the track
of warm water and collapse

our lives to double-wide.
Across the bay, drunken
gods shot away precision, its lack
drowned schools and amputated
airplane hangars. This was meant for us.

Across the bay they forgot
the answers as quickly as tarp
masked iridescent lights. Our
lenses clung to the wreckage, the void
between two worlds to be trenched quietly
and with no regard for how
they tumbled.

Bread and Circus of the Graveyard Shift

Two gasoline canisters clanging
sound a lot like crickets. Cigarillo embers
lonely headlights as heat climbs
disappointed lungs and lost
Barbie idols fasten themselves
for the ride. A masked man scuttles
from a John. There’s too much silence
here, thicker than overcooked gravy from
the breakfast shift. Generations old
is this stillborn twinkle, only alive
for dreadnaught, the night, a mired
wind ravaging sailboats, awake
only to drift—along with phantoms
of empty 40’s and worn out spoons,
they thirst after yesterday,
wake dreaming of strobe lights
and empty visions, the whisper
of dark mushroom flesh. We see
only redundant corpses,
and only in the graveyard do they howl;
as midnight phosphorous preaches 100% real
beef enchiladas, here lies the feast. A stolen mirage
crafted half-heartedly, as the world re-invents
a thousand of its own distractions
and we reap them.

Think about the way eyes reap

expectations when you blink, reckless,
shards of glass from another
century, fresh in antiquation,
the torchbearer extinguishing
frames, and you can’t

purge this stomach of animals,
they won’t stop clawing–loops and leagues
underground, tangling a nation in hope
all below the heart, fool’s gold

someone who has nowhere better
to swim: never stop mailing letters
loose with irish tea and the post-it’s
you dreamt at midnight, all tortured
and waning as the moon.

Through the Scars of the Land

in Osceola County, the sky drips
under a fake wooden frame,
the moss tangles the trees and whitens
itself into the question—
what left is worth protecting?

Even plastic bags wilt
as the driver paves the road
with bravado. He believes
himself the wind, the prey rather
than the predator. His fingers mock
David’s slingshot, tied with
each stitch of the gospel

on every crumbled street corner,
old peach ring bags used
indiscriminately for crystals, whatever
necessary to drown the tick

of the clock–here are the paths
we took before cars,
now only pit-stop museums where we thank
ourselves for modernity and its cling

wrap. His job is done here. He leaves
it trenched in dehydrated grass
and abandoned car hoods. Rubber tears
in the clay road, the sole remnant of good
will as tin cans and arson
lie speechless in the rubble.

[untitled]

Your voice
crawled across the bed
and unearthed itself:
a windmill of vectors,
shudders, wrenching into me.
You said it happened when
you were eleven years old.

How ridiculous that a man
would bring his eleven year old
to the railroad tracks
ignoring the way
bullet holes
gouge identity.

You learned cruelty too young,
you confessed, on the second day
an invisible sense of arson
how it crawled in radiant numbers
across the bed. I wonder
if there’s ever a good way to murder,
and if so, can you remain
titanic when you live
a ragged sun.

Victory’s Aftershave

We’re all running from the same cockroach
searching for that fake moment:
the apex of tossing waves, a tide
shelling more than its own sand,
magnetic plastic, water unboiling
and reboiling, a picket fence
with personality, gasoline torched
sunrises, smoke signals
arriving on time, anticlimactic
cancer, a ring that fits insecurity,
the eye of a tornado, victory’s aftershave,
the engines of storm clouds, anger in mosaic form,
two hearts stilled in amber,
a sword made of good-will, wet money held
in old age’s palm,

I’ve heard it all before,
the novelist wandering the world,
knapsack of mercury on back,
wielding an opus only second
to the champion of night crawlers,

a faltering crescendo. A gaze saturated
with too-much-whiskey and dug-up-sunflowers,
plea dealing with silence, nowhere specific
not to anyone at all,

what if this is it?