we had a water-logged dogand six chickens on the road to burly country men, button-downed, who bought us shots in Nashville. we laughed, the levees held, the morning felt like an index finger tapping on the wet window and then the whole wall was in my mouth.

I don’t really remember the popped tire, just the trail of the boat in rearview, swerving like it would have in waves, feathers from the truck bed like plumes decorating our exodus, some barking, some talking, some memories of the river, at peace, in its past afternoons. I remember: the faint feel of spent revel, the frayed edges of wet shreds.

when you kill a chicken by decapitation it really does run flies actually ten feet up spurting blood from its neckspout onto your mother’s window and the neighbors’ fenceposts, but you have to let it go, can’t hold it down for those last fleeting flying fighting moments.

never tie my dog up before he dies; he needs to face east.

and bury me at sea. fish have no memories.


So dirty.Sludge on every rim like chocolate frosting. It’s not my fault there is an unwrapped condom on the bench next to me. No one comes near. They all make eye contact. One woman says, sneering, “Are you serious?” I eat salty chips out of a bag. I’m not serious or kidding. I didn’t put it there. I feel guilty for being able to put indiscretion easily out of mind. The train sends a warm wave like nausea over us, and we are thinking worms in a stuffy can. Nothing is ever over. We think about each other, make awkward eye contact, squirm in close containment.


...(a sushi epiphany) I take you between my teeth and pods are your meat, hidden in a furry salt hammock.

I feel bad biting you, sliding out all of your secret worth from a seam in your side.

But you satisfy, and rest in a mound of sure shells, like piled smiles, certain of your tabletop purpose.

I think that if you could remove beads from me you’d have to go through my feet.

We must all be walking sheaths and some stay salted, soggy,

unshed. I would rather be secret than put back in the wrong bowl and tried again.