by Corbin Wamble
I remember nights of Imessage insults driven through sprinkled streets,
two white trash wanna be’s dueling with roman candles,
carbon dioxide limping off recycled apologies,
snaking from the muffler to the window of loves
infallible four door sedan, its crash tested, top safety rating.
Close the garage it's time
to get to business. Darling
if I told you I longed for a nightmare, would you believe me?
speaking like a broad who gets off on being tied up
there's a kink between the window and the muffler keeping us alive,
it's the thrill of suffocation, that ever so incandescent phrase landed
on panting lips, ‘choke me’ revolving like an elegy to innocence; the animalistic intent
can’t stop won’t stop
thrill of looming death, fingering pink piano keys in a dire spring,
that blonde matinee of american corduroy, clasping starlight and butterflies,
trudging through heavy air, fascinated with the way each stuck to her skin, butterscotch scars
sprouting honeysuckles; we would have been beautiful if it wasn’t for
the old hound you loved is dead.
Milky eyed and mean muggin gray, she blindly wandered the house,
sack bunting loose shoes and goring table legs,
her trash compacted face wrought into that extraterrestrial pecan swirl.
A seizure took her while I worked, she died alone in the living room
looking like a botched acid trip, her spellbound smirk half relieved,
half terrified, the scent of unbrushed fangs cloaked in expelled bowls,
hoisted to heaven in a black leather La-Z-Boy.
I imagine this to be the pinnacle of modern death, hairy pride and
Do you remember
the night we went dancing?
your dress too tight to drop it low, my pride
to high to admit you were taller than me in heels,
you tugged at coattails as if the
existential wind were inching up your skirt,
trying to cop a feel with a newly cracked Pabst
gripped like a rose.
When we leapt off the porch to go to the shore,
I gave you that hackneyed promise
I’m still convinced is worth something only once,
that first time I expelled it out of instinct starved wolf pack depravity
like a promise to God in a moment of terror, you can’t shut it out,
can’t mute your own repression, can't cannibalize your own words
You returned it on the zenith of the bridge, steel tongue grafted over the inlet,
the charter vessels roaring in sync with boiling passion
You spoke reluctantly,
as if choking on something you’d been meaning to say
but never could
still to this day
held over my head,
I went on huffing salt as if trying to wake from a dream,
staring over the sapphire expanse of the Atlantic,
wondering how such darkness could mirror the stars.
In the gravel lot years before we parted, the sky was a snapdragon,
citrus clouds seemed to stare with fiery eyes,
I knew it was just God watching me make mistakes,
cloaking wisdom with peregrine wings.
You always hit your head on the roof of the car,
there was a trampoline rhythm to it,
the sound became our heartbeat, alive and drowned in darkness,
neon lights leaking from the dashboard,
filling your eyes with psychedelic splendor.
I stroked your feline back, wrenched over and
dazed in pure love politeness, under spell in shoulders boney grip,
you levitated in the wake of disaster
like a cherub in the eye of a hurricane,
voice echoing convictions in a tired rasp.
my signature naughty-coal-in-stocking-maneuver,
we’d already bought presents so we exchanged
in a neutral parking lot armistice,
awkward tears brandished
brash hugs like credit card payments
We retreated to separate bunkers
each confided to their own secrets
folded neatly into wrapping paper cranes.
Those promises were solar flares bleeding off
tight lipped best-left-forgottens,
like that old hound and her milky eyes
silently promising me she’d live forever
while we watched movies she couldn’t see or hear
on the La-Z-Boy that would soon hoist
her to high heaven
in a far too comfortable throne of death,
a vaguely capricious catafalque, singing
Goliath silence, swallowing her final breath with leather lips.
It's true I can’t sleep, I’m constantly rewriting my last words,
trying to nail a final epilogue
perhaps best left to silence,
like the hound and those acorns of tragedy
softly staring into the finality of forever,
a wedding dance with eternity,
cauterized in the cerebral cortex of I
the adopted father
listening to tongue kissing rain
weeping on the roof
untrimmed nails still drumming on the laminate floor
her spirit still bowling through the halls at night
nailing mahogany pedestrians like a blind yellow cab.
Tragedy knights itself, quickly becomes
the sole inspiration,
sitting here in this candle light,
low and sorrowful, my passion
far greater than over prescribed
pesticides can withstand, far greater
than pest control can massacre termites
or ants or junebugs, far greater
than a warhead could depopulate
the Earth, far greater
than the toll and howl of severed species
of humanities ceaseless conniption, hence the bottle of
Jack resigned to the nightstand;
I’d like to stick a tattered rag inside,
hear the growl of a zippo striking flint,
let the grief stricken crash fill the fuselage of my heart,
my face pieced together by firelight,
think Poe at a lectern lamenting for dear Lenore.
Corbin Wamble is a writer from Delaware.