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I was once trapped in a room
with a navy wannabe
who wanted to know

how I cleaned myself
after shooting a motherfucker.

I kept quiet.

And he went away
with noise and anger.

I have been hit.

I have been bitten.

But always
I have never.


For so long
I have wanted peace.

In the green hills of Washington
covered by weeping trees.

I walk amongst them
confessing my sins.

They listen
they do not forgive.


And then we missed retreat.
While stacking footlockers
And breaking in.
Because the babies were up
And housing wouldn’t be in until

Song of the diesel radio

He’s losing his teeth
one by one.
And then
all at once.


A woman lives in this park at the edge of town. She screams at the trees. She eats at the mission. She charges her phone at the library. She steals vodka from the liquor store. And at night she fights sleep, terrified of her dreams.

Fuel in the water, ice on the lines

Miles and miles of turbines day and night harvesting the wind tearing at the sky. All these towns now filled with ghosts but the lights must stay on until the bitter end.

Last free exit

Bright lights, black lights. Smell the same.

Sitting here in the bright dark
putting his last twenty into a g-string
or a slot machine.

Hoping somehow he can win
a different life.

Escape velocity

The street light blinking out a warning in Morse code
A late November storm turning Nebraska into Kosovo
Are not signs of better things to come.

The sun is warm, the wind is cold

I’ll sleep on the floor of a drained ocean
in the shadow of a once jagged

And I’ll dream of you sometime
between dark and night

Abandoned churches and deserted graveyards

I recognize the way she waits
In the blazing sun
For a city bus
To take her somewhere
She doesn’t want to go.