The ambulance drivers in this town have no clocks
in their homes. Instead, the kitchen tables bear
sandbags and bean cans
and old issues of Playboy.
Iodine adorns the night stand.
Outside, my father’s hands chill to purple,
his veins verge on black, and I
The doctor shrugs, but passes me a prescription
and a pamphlet anyways.
This happens twice and I get better.
Hundreds of feet above,
vultures throw a cocktail party
in honor of new warlords. Here,
nothing lasts long on the
side of the road.
I stay on the train just a little
longer, aware of the rumbles
and ticks. He’s the only one
who eats pizza with a fork,
catching pepperoni like
treetops catching kites.
Some days, I imagine God
as an old woman feeding the ducks;
her arm quivers into the bag of bread pieces
she broke yesterday and swings
out over the moss-laden pond. She smirks,
her cracked lips like blood diamonds.
Blake Pipes is currently a senior undergraduate student at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Blake enjoys watching bad horror movies, blasting hardcore punk, and taking long walks to Taco Bell. Blake has had three poems featured in two different Belmont University publications and won the first place prize for the 2015 Sandra Hutchins’ Humanities Symposium Writing Award in Poetry.
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.
I dream of her,
childish and illogical,
straight hair and tiger-eyes.
My punk-rock gothic-pixie little sister fourteen fresh faced
We listened to The Cure during art class Made bongs and pipes
out of ceramic You taught me how to kiss people who could
never love me
Supermassive Black Hole swallowed your cackle-low
Cosmos whisper pretty Come here darling and you come
I hope I never forget that pack of middle-schoolers
at the playground near my house, how they acted
like middle-schoolers, shouting their conversations
across the neighborhood as if showing off new sneakers,
the boys doing mean things to the girls,
the girls saying mean things about each other.
head, right arm
behind the back, fingers
curled around the left arm’s inner
We all live on the Hudson, America’s only true river. It’s
a driveway, a landing strip, and a dead end. The Hudson is not the only river
to become a school, but it is the only one once beheld by the likes of George
Washington, Melville, and Sir Winston Churchill.