He asked me to stick around
after a couple drinks
because there was once a fondness
of person there
he stuck needles in his arm
and passed out with lit cigarettes
burning through his fingers.
And the girls that came around
all had death in their eyes.
The same way you look at a tombstone
and see nothing.
And when they put him in the ground
it was like watching them plant potatoes.
And you can call me asshole for that,
but you have never been there.
I was the only one.
In ceremonial black.
No friends or family.
Not even the tombstone girls
would brave the cemetery.
Doors Will Close Until You Become a Darkened Hallway
most will say: too weird
and move on
to people more like them
who only say things they
for sake of ease
gathered ‘round the
I want no part of it
give me raging canopies
of bent fire
in the back shed
carve karate chops deep into infinity
from the leaking red dexterity
She sat at the table with her legs on an incline.
Tapping the glass with her fingernails so that it made
a full resilient sound.
And she was wearing his tartan boxers.
Holding a smoke so close to her face
he could not make out her eyes.
And he rubbed his face wildly with the palms of his hands
as if trying to shock some slippery ephemeral reason
back into the day.
The alarm clock turned around
like the hunched backs of court stenographers.
And when he said something, the voice was not his.
It was hoarse with a dry scratchy record
sort of nostalgia.
His tartan boxers from the previous evening.
Once stuck to his thighs with eager pre-cum.
Now advancing on the lip of a glass table
like waiting on an unfriendly knock at the door
that pretends to be something
it is not.
(Ryan Quinn Flanagan is a Canada based poet who has published widely in literary journals and magazines)
The Beautiful Space-