poems by Robert Beveridge

Last Night

 

We curled around one another

and let the night drift

in through the window

and wash over us

watched the lights go out

one by one. Soon

 

we were alone in the darkness

and we kissed.

 

 

 

One Final Elegy for Laura

 

What little self-respect

you garnered

from sex with your pusher

died

after the 57th trackmark

formed on your arm

a little gas station money

did what spreading your legs used to

and you can still get high

without his cock in you

 

quick—out of state

he won’t be able to find you

in Ohio

and you got a friend there

who’ll put you up

 

that last Esso station

clerk said he’d give you money

to fuck him

so you started the tricks

it’s like gas stations

but no one gets hurt

 

dumb 17-year-old

blowjobs twenty bucks a pop

she made enough

one night

to buy too much

 

end of story

 

 

 

Overeating at the Devil’s Buffet

 

Lavender stuffed in the turkey

skin, broccoli and onions

minced into a stuffing for acorn

squash. This country is unfamiliar

with cheese, but almonds

suffice in a pinch. Every bean

is a different color and the mustard

is ground with cornflower

to get that perfect blue.

 

The guests arrive, eyes

dead, cupcake frosting

on their fingers. The maître d’

shows them to the back

room. Wine is poured,

thick, clotted. The speeches

are only moments away.

 

 

 

The Scars on Your Wrist Tell the same Damn Tale Every Day

 

two more pounds

of ice lowered

onto your back.

you ask

for a cigarette

break.

 

 

 

Waiting

 

Maybe, in some other world, we’re together.

Here in America, we wait, miles apart,

for the moment we can first touch,

the first meeting

of fingers and tongues.

 

My hand on the phone caresses you

my voice washes you clean

like a baby in the River Styx.

Relax, close your eyes

and let me whisper in your ear

 

we’ll be together soon

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