by Christopher Prewitt
It has been raining
but only on that side of town.
I go in my quiet way
nursing a fire ball,
wanting to be held in the air
that is screaming at me,
signing in at the front desk
of an old building
stained with streaks of milk
on the windows.
A young woman in a black dress
comes from the back to take my coat
and my teeth.
I try to ask her
why do daughters inflict violence on one another,
but she’s already at work
on my tongue.
It’s a device
that was once bright
as the silver coins
Judas will feel sad about forever.
There’s no time
to think about the rust.
I have to go.
I have to sit at my desk.
I have to write something brief
on behalf of my top floor shadow,
spinning with gold in his lap
and blood on his cheeks,
the company president.
Moonlight over Meat-eating Plants
Here’s how I write poems.
I live in a town.
I open my mouth.
The first person to kiss me
I come to resent.
The first gentle rain
to sleep at my feet
I hand over to the authorities.
Anyone who dines with me
at a Waffle House or a Golden Corral
has a friend for life.
Anyone who writes poems and hates poems
containing more than one language
and/or positive feelings
toward chain family restaurants
might as well kiss me
con lengua y uñas.
At the end of a long day being no one,
I make a simple dinner
for my wife,
and then I rub her back
until she falls asleep.
Just as I’m about to fall asleep,
I take my 3 subject notebook
and mechanical pencil
from the floor.
Every night I write
these same 2 lines over and over:
You are a liar.
I can’t keep my eyes open.
I never get the title right.
Poema with Roses and Snowstorm
My son, you are better off
than a nightmare, any nightmare,
all the nightmares you’ve ever had
where the roses sprouting from your head
have teeth and they’re all falling out.
The person you love more than anything
has a ruby between their eyes—I won’t pretend
to know whom you love—and they’re angry
at you, so angry, they are snowstorm
as far as explanations go, as far as
explaining how they came to bury you
like Satan in the ice and the cold—
this is only a dream but your heart
is the heart of the cat
who sought warmth in the car engine
to put it bluntly. You are not
pure fear that is self saying to self
something. You are paper boat we are trying
with breaths gentle and constant to blow
through a wall of flame. We love you
precisely because you are fragility hiding nothing.
Drink this the mountain dew of our love. You are shaking
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Christopher Prewitt is a writer from southern Appalachia. His poems, fiction, and reviews have appeared in The Four Way Review, the NewerYork, The Cafe Ireal, Ghost Ocean Magazine, Vinyl, The Iowa Review, among others. His awards include nominations for the Best of the Net anthology and the Pushcart Prize, as well as the Billie & Curtis Owens Creative Writing Award. He is a former poetry editor at Inscape and Minnesota Review. He is at work on a novel, a full-length collection of poetry, and he has a chapbook ms. under review by editorial staffs.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
painting by Samuel Barrera