All the Things I Will Not Say At Your Funeral

featured in the poetry forum June 16, 2018  :: 0 comments

You should be here
Not because I am some kind of lonely
And I particularly miss
your queer brand of truck-stop killer humor

or your searching,
godforsaken-green eyes
that seem to drink up all the insecurities
out of my throat

or that designer blend of
new car fumes and old blue denim
that wears on your skin
better than any cologne ever could

But because having breakfast
every other Tuesday morning
in this hole of a diner was your idea
And I only ordered these couple

of overcooked egg whites
burnt bacon and dead-on-arrival toast
because I thought you would be here
But you’re not here

And that black bile posing as coffee
sitting in the middle of our table
is growing older
than the text I sent you hours ago

And the waitress with the “Becky” hairdo
is serving me right now
a dish of vicious side-eye because
I’m holding up a table for two

I should tell her you are dead
therefore you will not be joining us
And where you are
there are no hole-in-the-wall diners

No do-overs or overdone eggs
no me, no us, no kids and a fence
Just six lifetimes of dirt
and all the moonlight you could want

I should tell her
you’re being buried at this very moment
in a tie too green for your taste
And a vest too small for your ego

I almost went to your funeral
Just to see how you look with
a smile that bares no teeth
and a haircut that costs more than $5

I almost went
just to give you hell for skipping out
on today’s bill for breakfast
But instead I came here to honor you

editors note: Coffee to coffee and eggs to eggs; from toast we have come, and to toast we shall return. RIP! - mh clay

Lighter Fluid

featured in the poetry forum April 13, 2017  :: 0 comments

Today I think I will make colored rain
of the pictures of you in my wallet
Watch a burnt orange sun slide down the long neck
of a cold foreign beer
I will sing a little Cash and get a little broke
on the wrong side of the bar
behind $20 worth of a pick me up
Then I will tell you off in pig latin
like the cardboard celebrity you are

You used to rub me the right way
like an antique Cognac
Now you go down my throat flavorless and scratchy
You are a bad hangover I will come out of
one of these unholy days
When I finally shake loose of these low spirits
But not today while my thirst is still so damnable
and a plain vodka crowns
a shelf, calling my name in its Russian tongue

No, I won’t burn up in a dry frenzy of apologies
I will dry off the tears with something wet
and take a dip in the familiar ocean of your lies
My kerosene is your cake
I will eat it too like I don’t know better
feel the sugar soak into the creases and folds
of the wounded mass of tissue you left in my chest
But only once I am done
licking the bottom clean of my glass

editors note: Soaked in such a state; stay away from open flame. - mh clay

Math, you, and I

featured in the poetry forum October 21, 2016  :: 1 comment

If all the world was a pie chart and all the people
merely percentages of a greater whole number
then you would be a three-dimensional, fuchsia-colored slice
And if life just consisted of sterile integers and barren digits

you would be the picture worth a 1000 pixels squared
I would be the nervous wreck of a train going 90 mph
barreling for nowhere in particular, too soon, too fast
Because some equations never change

no matter how many times you divide and multiply
Divide and multiply, divide — oh you get the point
If the value of you is me to the infinite power
then the value of me is x times the square root of your love

I told you once you were my favorite digit
I lied, you are my favorite improper fraction
so very top-heavy, and by that I mean brain-wise
Compared to your numbers, I am wanting

When simplified, our least common denominator is 1
before you I wasn’t even a prime number
wasn’t worth a notch on the number line before or after 0
I was a textbook manic, a black splotch of a decimal

introducing a most resplendent series of 9’s
And you solved every one of my word problems in short form
But if I could be less than binary with you for a minute
more transparent, and screw the math altogether

I’d tell you that no amount of factors or multiples
will ever lead me too far away from you
Because our differences plus the ratio of your 2 lips to my 2 lips
are the sort of statistics dreams are made of

editors note: Love in (rational) numbers. (We welcome Samantha to our creative congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page - check it out.) - mh clay