I step out to water the hanging hibiscus that is dying
a slow thirst death by the door,
and I am Edgar Allen Poe. I am seeing
my dead mother in everyone. It comes
over me slow with the calf of the girl in too short shorts,
walking by across the street. She turns, smiles,
flashes a skull grin, the kind that never fades.
I want to bury her, brick her up in the basement.
I am supposed to see flesh. Desire is supposed
to wash over me like fire on Gomorrah. All I see
in her thighs is a life waiting to be given. All I see in the mound
where breasts should be is something to be emptied
and ignored. All I see in her face is something that will be used
then thrown away.
I'm not going to say something silly about the color red and its
connotations towards lack of intelligence, or the way light sinks into water
and what that says about the sexuality of fish. Time was, when a man knew
which cufflinks to wear to bed. The day ended and you knew where you stood
according to the length of your shadow. Now, it's just a race to see who can
keep his sleeves pinched the longest. The ineffectual droop their way into
summer, praying the urine stream of time will wash this shame from them like
clean water. Time was we didn't drink piss in the wind, time was we pissed
in the wind.
About the author:
Cortney Bledsoe was born and raised on a catfish farm in eastern Arkansas. He received his Bachelor's Degree in English with a focus on Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas, where he went on to study with the MFA Playwrights program. He has poems, essays, and short stories published or forthcoming in Apalachee Quarterly, The Arkansas Literary Forum, The Blue Collar Review, Byline, Concho River Review, DMQ Review, Eratio, Euphony, Eyeshot, Hobart Pulp, Mobius, Nimrod, Poetry Motel, Shampoo Poetry, Snow Monkey, Story South, 13th Warrior Review, Thunder Sandwich, and 2 River View, among other places.
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