hold your nose now, he tells me, Johnny the beloved in red
swimming trunks, ankles gone gummy in their submarine sway.
to your right, a complimentary towel, sun-bleached, suffering through
the solstice, a pale shade of summer beneath the supervision of
palms. a pink umbrella in your margarita, Cohiba accosting quasi-war
on your larynx, nicotine on standby. not nearly as nuclear as lover-boy,
wading through the water to retrieve a raft, solar plexus strung along by
sonar, moving like Moses, parting the red sea. I ascend from the water,
chlorine leaving a film of chalk over my legs like dish soap residue, the
seal of diplomacy overseas. my domestic transgressions drying up like
plaster, pericarp shriveling into prune, powdery under my fingernails.
when I turn over next at the sound of the timer, you will retrieve my half
empty glass and bring me another, holding out a tray in a hunched
contrapposto so I might nourish you with my UV 400 gaze, offering up
a plot of my lawn chair, come on now, wouldn't want you to burn,
lifting the blockade. he disarms, cooing in a crumbled pietà in my lap.
Found in Volume XV (2016-2017)