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.
Oracular the filtered light of oak
through her peignoir She comes to me as though
her spell was never broken I’m still twenty
I can smell those pungent oranges in the sun
I narrate to him that last night both partners
thought they’d given everything up for the other.
It was ugly. They didn’t get, they wouldn’t get,
what they’d hoped for. I editorialize
that I think rage is clichéd in marriage
after a decade and a half.
There was a study done
to prove that men and women
have different brains
to prove, I suppose, that
women are from venus
and men are from mars,
that men want to fuck
and women want to marry
or some garbage like that
the drinking glass
across the room
against the wall
I had said
a wrong thing
that what is frozen roars for eternity (and that’s too much for us) while gashes in our wrists will bleed ceaseless, fluttering crimson ribbons.
she hits the keys
with one finger
like she’s jabbing someone
in the shoulder
or chest during
a fight because they
refuse to listen
oh, blundering human,
tread your life’s labyrinth
back to the beginning
I have never slaughtered a pig.
My hands, though slathered with a sheen
Of melted flesh, are swiftly cleaned
With a simple paper towel.
The cottonwood trees watch. Whisper. A
lyrical business, theirs. Bored by the Wind
River, they turn toward the termite-nibbled
The Pacific begs me to swim away, anything
to keep us from strangling each other
on the boardwalk. The Freakshow
is where our love belongs, a two-headed
oddity feasting on dust and bone