Greyhound

is what we call grapefruit juice club soda
and vodka. Also the name of a wolf and
cost-efficient bus. There is where you told

me stop drinking. But it gives me fangs,
these gnarly sharps I say I need, let me keep–
tires spin in the mud, my bedroom where I

drink alone. There’s a delay. Of course.
It’s 6 PM. It’s 4 AM. Half-crescent awake
drink through morning again. Stringshaped

street I’m twirling aloof. I know there’s
been some kind of mistake. This dim
lobby with icy hands. Who knows. The sun

might go away. Your call. You called my name
at the last stop– I wanted to be wheeled some-
where south of here warm all the time. Where

I can shave all my fur and sweep back up.
Lounge by the beach my tongue of drool hot
midwinter. Past the equator. Don’t you see

those yellow lines you’re swerving over…
underneath my shirt is another shirt I want
to remove. I’m running out of fumes. Soon

you will wait for me in the corner-forest
where it’s okay to talk to the passenger
next to you. I promise. You’ll talk

a head clean off and refuel.

(originally published in Thin Air Online, Summer 2018)

A Date with Doubt

You look around the room
and rate singles from one to ten
in terms of melancholy
but don’t know
how to rate yourself–
Pacific waves flow through
you almost drown
in the sea of your thoughts–
the scisms between pen and mirror,
heart and mind, these are thieves
who will lie to you ‘til the Greyhound
leaves for Cincinnati at 11:30.
Until then we watch superheroes do bad
stand-up comedy in the conference room
at the new Mikey’s, eating mushroom pizza
with too-hot sauce. Bass pounds from the stage
so loudly we walk to 16-Bit next door
to drink water and pretend we are drunk,
our mouths rocketships exploring the universe
of each other– the rotation of stars
confused with physics. In the end all you want
is chocolate cake. Your blue eyes curve away
in that soaring flyball-to-left way. The way
you sway me back to simpler times
when buying CDs was a holy act
of personal preference
and I stayed sealed on a shelf in plastic,
waiting to give the world my music.

 

(originally published in Zingara Poetry Picks, Summer 2017)