the H.E.B.

that drunk man without a home is yelling
“happy new years” but it’s only the day
after christmas. for him, what’s the difference?
automatic doors open for me, the security officer
does not bat an eye.

while placing produce on the conveyor
I got distracted and
some little inkling of a poem slipped out
my mind, off my earlobe, and smacked
the ground. it flipped like a fish, wriggled

for some other undeserving wretch to receive.

now here I am, fuming;
the cashier lady won’t make small talk,
because she’s too busy talking to the person
in front of me, and also working.
I have some strong feelings
on this coffee I’m about to buy.
bad shit in Burma all week, but this ground
bean bag contains cayenne and dark chocolate.
it is fair trade, organic, and allied with the rain
forest so don’t you dare say I’m not a hero.

the cashier still won’t talk to me, but I listen
to public radio, and we all know that the world
is awful. just, wow, look into her eyes. look into mine.
eventually we’ll start crying and I think that means we’re in love.

Stop that!

‘I like your hair,’ gently twirling it and
with a slight tug, you sorta whispered

in some early daylight phase. Our fingers
were linked, index only, and my brain did

that thing where it forgets where my body
ends and yours begins.

I lost it there, because the last time morning
noises poured into a city apartment window

life felt so great. It was neat, but not gaudy
like my grandpa used to say. You used to say

‘I like you,’ and ‘make some time for me,’
and ‘I’m glad I got to see you.’

Tricky, tricky. It’s easy to convince oneself
something can work when you’re the one

being chased. Maybe the story of wild sex
on New Year’s Eve in a post-modern lake house

basement bedroom was too much too soon.
It’s not fair. I had so many other good things
to share, but like, what’s the point? You really
don’t seem
to give a shit.

let’s ask our panel of judges

the impermanence of mutual human affection
is like, just the worst
truth out there, y’know?
so let’s
keep away the evil vibes & bad spirits
with a shot of spirit: vodka/whiskey/gin.
pop it back, let out a breath, grab an ear
to whisper something in to, do it all again.

and think
oh, what a place the world would be
if people could take hints
not wrapped in bricks
I’ve got a question: how do you drink three glasses of moderately priced
red blend & not sport wine lips? it’s a mild miracle,
& I’m into it. do you think we could bend this
friendship into a French flick?

it’s that way you talk to yourself,
quiet and quite sure no one is the wiser.

here it is, here

I need a girl with eyes that work like mine,
that see what mine see, roughly.

fast clouds track over a moon
a few notches past full.

it’s friday the 13, &
you don’t have time for this bull.