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POEM / The Poem Beneath The Poem / James Diaz

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They said someone must be keeping score
walk slowly
know that this road leads to another road
that there are night killers 
inside all of us 

I choked back the words I could have given you
had I not already disappeared 
into bleeding earth

was it heaven when we shook 
from alcohol withdrawal 
when they said: draw
what you feel
and we ripped the paper in two
and slowly ate it

did your brother make it to the coast in that beat up old car?

I also don't know what to do with my body

poets are always talking about coasts and lighthouses
it makes me queasy
how polished their words
like something you'd be afraid to break in a store

because how could you ever pay for something like that?


James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018). He is founding Editor of the literary arts & music mag Anti-Heroin Chic. His work has appeared most recently in Occulum and Philosophical Idiot. He lives in upstate NY and occasionally tweets @diaz_james.