Arsenic Lobster poetry journal Issue Forty
Spring 2016
Amarillo Catches Fire in the Distance
Michael Robins

Naturally sky & red, the one compared to summer
leaves, blown across the street & what was I
supposed to say searching stoves, up old homes
over the fence & down. My belt broke sometime
Californian, the power steering gone, not forgotten
nothing muscle couldn’t muster, dissolve. Swallowed
my gum for pygmy love inside the indie rock club.

Mileage on the hips, the lake, swayed. Shop around
more awful the male gaze ably & discomforts
three for a dollar with your preferred member
super saver discount card. In robust description,
my wonderful, homely time was dry & I knew
not what I wanted, whatever coming to my mouth
coming also closer to the heart. Smooth move, ex-lax.

This weather still flits, smirking, & Portland heeds
my jokes, never so fond as long as I’d recall sweeping
dust in the Sunday rain. So far the tenor straight-
forward, leaps lacking longevity as if written down,
notebooks brown to keystrokes. In Texas, well,
in Texas. Missouri hung in the hall where each radio
played. From his desk Will said the buildings were dust.

Chicago & nearly December, I erred a final nethering,
former things taped & sealed though I yet imagined
stopping for gas, snacks, stretch the treadmill
mood & low-lying visions of family night. Various
breeds of same, hurtling in space both curious
& routine, then cropping a somber wing for once
off someone other than other people, for what in me
rose no greater than an umbrella, what in me stank.

Some dire lessons in Eugene, the landlord drubbing
every tree & we cried without hesitation, thinking
bubbles in the blood. No, I did not forget you
nor suffering, back on my knees inside the wood
we personified, shook, later blowing the sugar shack
dry in New England. Matchstick, infer smithereen
or don’t, some days its soul called the river & drowned.

Postmarked naturally, in Idaho, & the city this troop
calls like wallpaper home, pattering on the lids & close
elbow comfort of a friend. By this I’m the best of bad
situations, eyes accordioned but my mind’s off
oh when the shot shrinks & I could use new buckets
as they splash en route, traffic such a mess we say
cursed, still in our best parts, yesterday & tomorrow.

About Michael Robins

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