Giving Ground

I.

The air was cement
in the afternoon sun

I counted the stains
on the upholstery
on the backs of chairs
until The Law walked in

I was brighter then
I am warmer now


II.

At Eleven O’Clock
the pain set in

I clutched your thigh
through gritted teeth

I’d heard what you said
I never heard you say a word


III.

The Law was restless
pistol hand on grip

I tried to keep my eyes down
as her visage shook my soul

The air in my throat
grew thicker still


IV.

There were just us three,
two tables and a pistol between

You stood to leave with elegance
as I floundered, chair to floor

I spat your name as the door swung


V.

The Law saw my despair
and her pistol hand was mercy;

She shot me twice

and waited

for the light in my eyes to go out

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what kind of monster am i?

all the times i’ve cleaned
this mirror still the monster
is there vomiting his orphan
words
crying
as am i
this has got to go away
like cell phone rings that
never rang or waking up from
dreams mid-drive
leaving
town
trying to become an ant by
pill or smoke or shrinking
machine
i could lift my own weight
and many times more
not be such a monster
with a hunched back under
the weight of all the
miles i can’t ever reach
or with eyes
so large
making
the
villigers flee
seeing them run away
for minutes, and understanding
why
what kind
of monster am i?