Weekly feature by: Sissy Buckles

Surreal April days
returned again,
just like they always did.
My fingers ached from
typing all day
folding and filing and filling
coffee cups
for men blissfully unaware
of the 19th Amendment
in a dusty construction office
and sneaking quick peeks
at my Shakespeare
homework in between
boring invoices while
the spring Santa Ana wind whips
hot brick dust up my nose
offending my eyes
and making me sneeze.
After work my sister cuts
her ex-husband’s hair ‘
in the sunshiny kitchen
still arguing about what
classic rock station
to listen to and what
caused their baby’s rash.
The story of Michael
also ended
on a spring morning
with the death of my father,
mother’s monotonal whispering
out of my dream
a pinched rasp through
the decayed phone at 1AM
‘daddy’s dead from a heart attack’
choking up the spaghetti dinner
my mom cooked that night
all over their marriage bed,
his expensive watch
stolen in the ambulance
ride to the hospital.
My brother is a redneck
who holds conversations
with his hands down his pants
like Al Bundy on TV reruns
I once brained him with
a peanut butter jar
when he said my
old boyfriend Michael
who looked like John Lennon
in Trotsky glasses
while studying photography and
zealously framing
classical black & white
nude compositions of me
in campus Art class,
was a loser and
me, momentarily losing
my cool
(I’m ashamed to say
after an instantaneous
flashback of him
almost drowning me in
our backyard pool,
my fear to this day
of close spaces
assuredly exacerbated
by the many darkly
locked closets)
that heavy jar
traveling a straight
geometrical trajectory up to
the side of of his big head,
but hey, all those times he forced
me to practice ball
with him after school finally
paying off, or you could
say a spontaneous snappy
to reactionary politics,
a bald implication
but I’ve never been a coward,
well, hardly ever.
The vernal winds
bore me now with the
sickening stench of flowers
scattered on unkempt graves
in April
and once again
I must concede my
next convicted lover
with the softest blonde hair
to the evasive sea
she puts out fires
in a condescending way
of burned up shuttles
my love’s astronaut bones
welcomed by charming
mermaids swallowing ash.
Leaving me behind in this
flea-ridden city.
I search now.
The cemetery closes at sundown.
My naked hands rake the tall grass
while something small
and mad and furry
shakes in my holes in
it’s newborn slime
it whimpers and wonders
in the name of
lost dignity
and summery mornings
it shimmies in it’s
corner with infernal

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