Richard and I Play with the Dead
the red tide has left us.
At his lips, the scooped eye of a fish
catches the starlight like a butterfly
knife opening a boy’s palm.
A smoking pasture of weekenders
with zilch left to lose
browse churro stands on the boardwalk.
The casino doors are guillotines.
The skyline is a hairless dog.
In our wake seagulls clatter like dented cans
strung to the exhaust pipe of a limousine –
its rear window: a shrinking rectangle.
A silhouette embrace. A sip of champagne.
A world map on a prison cell wall.
The desk lady repeats
herself like a telephone menu
as I diagram the fire
exits and security cameras.
The motel pool is cerulean.
The hot tub is out of order.
Richard squints in the reversal image
of himself. A little more.
I scissor his rattail
and sponge his neck.
We button our thrifted florals.
My tongue is a garden slug.
I flick cards at a soft banana
as Richard twiddles the antennas
for the evening weather report
like a forklift operator.
He twists biblical spliffs.
Curtains warble in the television light.
Each siren is a doom spiral.
The highway exhales like a horse.
Image © Jericl Cat