"Orlando" and "The Wreck"


That smiling face with cheeks stapled together, eyes bulging wide
With black bowls from which old lovers feed from.
“Three strikes and you're out,” he says in whispers behind the scenes.
Out on the street, no job, no way home.
Permanent as a bronze statue, ripping young from their loving families;
A sickly angel, hiding among the crowds outside my favorite gay bar.
They said I needed a permit to march against him, he and his soldiers waited two hours before interfering.
His presence grips me, his towers are seen through that old motel window
Where the small insects crawl on the walls besides me, the dripping of the faucet
Sending me through hysterics
My only release is smattering myself on a wall
Just to be covered a day later.
Or counting each lake on the way home from the bus
Puddles of charcoal and fossils under the moonshower,
And that one burning uniform in bike shorts who threw two electric fishing lines
Right to his leg, he falls straight over
Food warrants the crushing of tables
The scattering of people
Right in front of city hall steps.
“Food terrorists,” they call us. Been eight years.
Vultures still watch our every move, they will be behind my back
Eating my intestines as I shit them out.
I had to escape, but there was none.
A fool to think I could, I had to realize:
They are in the soil. In the fog that blankets skyscrapers.
I’m planting my feet on the concrete.
I’m punching the ceiling ‘til my knuckles bleed.
Will that fix it? I don't know anymore. I forget to eat and sleep;
until I’m all shot up
in the mandibles of that centipede.
Seems almost inevitable, I feel that grasp eternally around my chest.



The Wreck

witnessing atrocities i cannot look away from
my thousand yard stare meeting eyes on a crosswalk
and watching my intestines tangle, shoelaces at my feet
soles burning, a trail of singes footprints behind my back
my spine is crying, "do it for the wind"
"do it for the city"
sucking every last breath
of tobacco, as imperative as breast milk
colostrum and adrenaline and testosterone
flowing through, numbing radio static
i look up, trapped between the incisors of a cavern
that no one belongs in
the dirt trapped for miles, white birches meticulously placed
gray eyes watching my back
as I write my name on the wall
i wonder and am placed firmly within a dissonance
an eden we've created lasting past our lifelines
lonely and desolate, immolating spires set out as our cradles
the guiro in our necks and an ozark harp at our groins
and a wish on my lips
to topple those scales.




Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 22:00