lust, observed










in my hometown
the laundromat

doors are open at 3 in the afternoon
to catch whispers

of a triple-digit Ju-ly breeze.
the machines whir,

and there is country coming
through the overhead.

small talk is all in Spanish: que
calorcito, eh? black-

laced sweet nothings
of a frazzled mamá drip

from the handrail of one of those
little carts. the floor

is dirty, and the air
smells of bleach.

the coke machine doesn’t work,
but the dryers

are wonderfully efficient and she
feels more like mamacita

than she has in months, con-
siders bringing one

of those country songs
to life, stripping

down to her calzoncitos while
watching machines spin

sweat & loneliness from her thin bed-
room sheets.

(between parentheses)

after R.S.
dear poet,

there is nothing
about this metaphor:

that we are children
reaching hands
in the hard calloused
eyes of the ferryman who
steers between the winks
of channel-markers
into gloamed twilight;
that we step
quietly on the creaking
planks of secrets and
drink in coastlines
like sweetwater;
and that we finally
follow stars hot
& hard as July earth
until each
reaches home again.

What has so far transpired:

contrails of cirrus
like kitestrings are flung
cross a June evening,

laundry lines of the summer’s
sirensong, a rumbling
in the stomach of my soul.

it nears storm season,
longing anticipated before
lightning even

touches down.
the wind builds
castles of our discontent, dust

scattered like glitter &
unicorns ‘cross the page where
we grub out with the back

end of a no.2 lead the lust
which would hang
us up to dry. do i

already drip? i cannot
remember how
the next verse goes.

my black marks
are wound like
kitestrings ’round

but a single wrist, tight,
untangled (and i think),
still my own.