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On Keeping the Wallpaper Stain
Blake Pipes

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
look away.

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.