Back Alley Stray Cat Shuffle

Back Alley Stray Cat Shuffle

there’s fear in each syllable,
crashing around
like an old Tom cat

I hear trash cans
falling over
in deserted streets
and the prowl
between your every word

you’re not fooling anyone

I am not a dumpster
built to shelter you
for a night.

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No Life Guard on Duty: Swim at Your Own Risk

No Life Guard on Duty: Swim at Your Own Risk

they don’t believe me
and I can’t
argue
or beat them
out of
their heads

and all the rooms
are occupied

there is no vacancy
or free
wi-fi or
complementary breakfast

of thighs,
clenched,
spread open-
fingers
pulling at sheets

so far from home
but don’t you
think
for one second
they are lost

I throw the alarm clock
into the indoor pool
hoping to shock
someone
back to life,
to see the sparkle
on the water
with the amazement
of a child

they’ll flap around,
dry out
on the white
and blue tiles
hesitant in their design
to resemble waves

they’ll gape
at the back of my neck
when I turn
away
to find something
suitable
to do with
my hands

but there is no sound
like a heartbeat
that is home,
only the slap
of pale bellies
assaulting the water
because it is still
winter

the ceiling is glass
and I wonder
if I could throw
the life saver
hard enough
to crack a window

fired like a flare
dear God-
please answer

we are all drowning
here

sink or swim
floating is not an option
get that idea out
of your head

all suffering serves
a greater purpose

liar.

I Didn’t Sleep Much Last Night and I Woke Up with the Memory of you Kissing me Under that Bridge

I Didn’t Sleep Much Last Night and I Woke Up with the Memory of you Kissing me Under that Bridge

You pushed me
against
the concrete
and wrapped your fingers
in my hair

Our kiss did not feel like
I imagine one would feel
in a movie

There was no flutter
and my stomach shrunk
to half its size

While your eyes were closed
I read the graffiti
on the wall:

Fuck the cops,
punk’s not dead,
and lastly,
suck my dick

Later,
I ran out of
hot water
trying to wash away
your taste.