The cows got out again, so Dad drives his rusted bronco through the neighbor’s orange groves.
Headlights catch a spotted haunch of meat; his revolver squeezes juice from unripe, yellow flesh.
I lock the old shed we never use. In daytime, sunlight cuts through and offers the cross sections
of a defunct sprinkler pump, a broken shovel, a crumpled snake’s skin deflating without its flesh.
She sits on my lap and chugs wine. You look high. Do you want to dance? I used to be addicted
to cocaine. In her locked dorm room, a desk lamp replaces our pink skin with moon-flesh.
I sneak into an unfinished high-rise, mildew and drywall covering my hands like the flesh
of jasmine vines. A sudden timbre of footsteps—squatters maybe, ghosts maybe, inked flesh or no flesh.
Jerrod Schwarz is an MFA student at the University of Tampa and is also the managing poetry editor for Driftwood Press. He has been published in Dirty Chai, Scapegoat, Four Ties Literary Review, and others. The above things are a little mundane. In his day to day life, Jerrod does whatever he can to escape the heat of his Floridian climate, and has been known to take part in staring contests with alligators who would challenge an otherwise refreshing swim.
A conveyor belt delivers mutton and fowl.
Hot meringues suffer and collapse
under my ruthless fork.
His breath tripped over words stuck between his teeth
and tongue as sinewy shoulders curved.
The child stood, small, shivering in her tattered brown coat,
a dented, scuffed brown suitcase gripped in her hand.
mushrooms, beets, carrots, cabbage,
uncle’s ashen face.
Light drips on the handle of our cups.
Mine is dark blue, hand
Crafted by a lady I met
Once, in Kentucky. It’s filled
With Camomile tea. No sugar.
You sometimes wonder about
Pangea, the supercontinent
that existed 300 million years
I miss driving with you at
night, sometime past safe,
our lips still wet with
When he had finished writing, and crossing out
and standing and rewriting, and looking
out his window, and feeling the sun
I stood and watched you sleeping, had
stood there watching for nearly five minutes in
the shadow of the
hallway for nearly five minutes of circus
time before I dropped your purse on the chair, quiet as death
If I could, I’d use
my recently purchased cell phone
to call the pay phone outside
the community swimming pool
in Fairview Park, Normal, Illinois,
that summer when I was eleven,
and the country 200.
It was the night we were told we couldn’t pretend we were Catholic.
The priest turned only toward you and said, “It’s between you and God.”
And you cried.