Father and Son

Dreamers Are Gluttons




Over  A Bowl Of Potato And Corn Soup, Mr. Marvin Tells Me How He Castrated Baby Goats


Love Poem #1

Leather Death Fruit and Flying -- A Consideration

The Mechanic Takes on Language

135th & Crossing

It Could've Been

Kermit's Jazz

The Muse



In Time

Bottomed Out Language

Such Fears

Spreading Out Histories

Days Unfold

There is a Flutter of Noise in My Head





The woman with him wishes she wasn't.

He came here out of the heat, dirt ridden, sweaty;

splashes of tar and crumbs of felt dot his arms,

color his hair.  She looks past him, at the fine dressed men

in their blue polos and casual jeans, their khakis

and t-shirts-- she's thinking just plain clean.


She wonders why he doesn't get some office job

with his own plastic in and out box, maybe even an 800 line

she can call him on during lunch.

His coworkers would enunciate their words,

drink Bloody Marys on weekends, have polite dinners

and talk politics.  They wouldn't have nicknames

like Cotton, Foz, Bull and certaintly wouldn't bullshit


all day in this July haze.  Tired of hearing how he hoses

down the roof every hour and can drink

a gallon of water and never take a leak, she listens

to him say he makes it through the day

by focusing on the next shovelful of shingles,

the next board to replace, the next tack to hammer.

When he finally climbs down those scalding ladder rungs at quiting time

he just wants a soft chair, a cold beer, and a window AC.


When she finally leaves him, he imagines himself

at home nursing a sweaty beer, then, later, 

stepping out of his skin.   Dropping the thick pores and facial hair,

the calluses and the tattoos, all balled up in the corner,

he moves into the shower a ghost.

A streamlined silence sways under water.


Originally published in the Cold Mountain Review

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