neon stranger

44 9 0
                                                  

wedged between cracked highways

neon pinks and blues shouting

NAILS windows bursting with white

while women file and coat daggers

in pretty colors—


a pizza diner cowers

hunched shoulders of doorways

booth cushions crushed of plump youth


I trace the barren valleys between the table's planks

nail digging through worn memories as those neon signs

paint your skin magenta—the color you hate now casting

alien shadows beneath your lashes


as my eyes reflect yours

an animal leaning left

ready to dart from an unfamiliar noise

your voice an echo


I slip from the wheezing cushion scampering back

paws reaching for the handle—the bathroom thrums a million

mosquitoes buzzing in time with the flickering lights—

if only for a moment I escape trying to replace

my memories of the stranger at the booth

with ones slipping away


the door squeals stabbing through my foolish dreams

as your lips part and burn the redwood forest of our love—

a charred stump where our initials were once carved

now a tunnel leading out.

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