As paradise

Leaning on white brick
faded graffiti at our backs, Alice Cooper and a melting star.
A waxing crescent at your elbow, last summer’s
vibration in India ink
already fading.

There’s that girl from up the street
deep purple on her arm
says her father did it:

“it’s better this way,” she says but
never opens her mouth.

In my boot, I keep the poem you wrote me.
Better than a knife, at least I’d
like to believe.
You find it, a forgotten document.
you sneer,
sick on Colt 45.
There’s no memory of mine untouched.

Still, one day I’ll think of
this corner as paradise,
unable to recreate its industrial digestion,
flatline affects.

For now,
put your head between the horns, Celestine;
there is nothing for us to fight.

From my latest poetry manuscript, The Truth is Told Better This Way