by Amber Rife
"This place is morally lousy with cupcakes,"
sighs the girl who was born with her heart
on a spoon. "And I don't know what to do
about the grapes. They won't fade."
Even the girls in "Grooming Tips to Make You
Look Like a Spiky Alcoholic" know grapes
can slip their skins at will, but she'd rather
be persuaded to winter in St. Paul. Snow outside
means less snow inside by her logic, the same
that asserts certain Carmelites were sainted
for losing ten dress sizes in their raptures.
Some people get a one-way ticket
to outer space long before they die.
Charles knows his is just a sign
of preternatural spread.
I think it sounds more like a sign
of bad clams, although it could be
the gods are angry over the deaths
of innocent crustaceans. Charles and I
can take a clam god more seriously
than most, who are alive but tranquilized
out of habit. You'd be nervous too
if you lived on a cliff with AK-47s
aimed at your imagination. Enough.
If we can't get round-trip tickets
I'll keep seventeen hot coals
smoldering the Almighty in the station.
MAD GIRL'S LOVE SONG
We started with a casual leer.
By then it was too late
since charades aren't breakable,
even if you drop them.
We both said, Please don't listen
so there won't be a change to go through.
It was a sensuous accident.
I think you rocked the boat
to prove I was full of sickness.
You asked me to crowd into
a jacket of stones,
so I said whatever it is
the faulty say
when we can't seal eyes or buildings.
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