The Unlucky County Sanitation Dept.

Honey, I wrote you a love poem today,
and not any half-witted puppy love poem.

It was a long, dramatic, lyrical ode in the 
Long, Dramatic, Lyrical Ode Tradition™

with marvelous meter, resplendent rhymes, 
sumptuous similes, mouthwatering metaphors, 

and alliteration ad infinitum, plus a few other fillers
I forgot to keep track of—for so damned long 

was my ode to you, so deep my whatever and ever 
for you, so utterly wide and wondrous is your—

boy, was it serious, so very smacking with all that 
syrupy self-negation you somehow learned 

to expect from a man. Venus herself would’ve been 
delighted to wipe her fat pink ass with it.

There was only one problem: none of it was true. 
And Papa said that a man can't write 

“when there is no water in the well.” 
Well, I couldn’t disappoint Papa—

so I lit the match, held it to the pages, 
watched them burn, swept up the ashes,

threw them in the trash can and dragged it to the 
curb with a 'warm dedication' taped to the lid: 

For the Unlucky County Sanitation Dept.— 
Gibberish drawn from a dried-up well...

Wipe your fat pink asses with it!
Then I came back in, changed the locks, 

and wrote this instead, you cannibal. 
Wait!—

Abandoned Sonnet

   If a quiet longing were tricked into speaking,
     snared by the betrayal of an anxious breath,
then lend me your love for a moment less fleeting
than this glimpse of the last of my reason retreating,
as my lips, put to yours, are put to a sweet death
  …

– for Holly

Should A God Fall Out Of The American Sky

Should a god fall out of the American sky
    like a faded leaf, I’ll run to you.

Should the parchments burn, the columns buckle
    and the monuments collapse, I’ll run to you.

And should the last captain abandon ship 
    in a sea of panic, I’ll run to you

    and (laughing) kiss you

like a kid running through an autumn forest,
    crushing the faded leaves.

Improper Sonnet

               Oh look at you now 
 
                               with your listing crown 
                                      and your overturned phrases 
                               fumbling on the stage—forget it, 
         page. This is no place for starched charms. 
                      That saccharine bit won’t fly this time. 

                      Run, run back to your rose-tinted past! 
         This race is so fixed, you wouldn’t finish last—
                you’d just be finished, and scarcely missed:

               My lover’s love at first kiss was a liquid

fire right there in the front seat of the car. I swallowed hard 
and thought to myself: Drive, damn it. Drive. Drive. Listen, 
                     this is just paper, tiger—but her wish, she said, 

                     was to burn you alive.
— for Sara