Spermicidal and other poems
by Howie Good
I ask if you remember the story headlined FIRE. You slowly circle the parking lot again, searching for a close-in spot. We’re the ghosts of our own thoughts — or no, a character in each other’s stories. At the track your horse stumbles. Potential orphans pass us on the stairs. We’re far from the ocean. I watch a bird that looks like the bird that picks the crocodile’s teeth.
* * *
Cannibals & Missionaries
A man sits alone in a room, staring at the fire like Descartes, broken glass in his beard. There are things for which he doesn’t know the reasons. He throws his arms around a horse’s neck on a street in Turin and bursts into tears. Someone slits someone’s throat. And where did the bullet come from? Death is just like a pink eraser, only more so.
* * *
Mix a little gunpowder with saliva. Memory is a building, a fountain, a madman who becomes calm on seeing a sheep. In floats an empty word balloon. It shimmers like the ashes of some extinct halo.
You dread the cough of a stranger. Agents sent to investigate force the prisoner to kneel. The hand that stops moving still holds a pen. Your ancestors saw so many witches they ran out of stakes to burn them all. I wipe my eyes; I was once a fan of riddles myself. Tiny flying things with grinning monster faces continue their dance.
Fireworks in my chest, and there’s a fresh dusting of snow, a white hare without fur or bones.
Howie Good is the author of the full-length poetry collections Lovesick (Press Americana, 2009), Heart With a Dirty Windshield (BeWrite Books, 2010), and Everything Reminds Me of Me (Desperanto, 2011).