Scoundrel Time


Hi friend. The Arcadia Machine and Tool .22
fired into your left temporal lobe and now lies
buried in your parent’s yard next to the yellow poppies.

Strange what we bury in language.
The root of temporal is tempus meaning time,
or temporalis meaning temple, which houses the sacred,
the permanent. When you were sober
you’d decline a pint calling your body a temple.

The smell of fresh dirt at the burial seemed to contradict
your theory. A confession: I never understood
your humor, laughed anyways; (also,
I stole photographs from your room.)

Photo A displays your head cocked back
laughing, half-obscured by a red baseball cap.
If you turned forty-five degrees to the left,
we could see your eyes clearly.
I wish you turned. Outside my window, there’s a puddle.
The raindrops rarely make concentric circles upon impact,
disappear as new drops fall at the rate
of an anxious man blinking. I think
Photo C, despite blurry resolution,
(quick photo to avoid the bouncers?)
best exhibits your kind of happiness:

sitting at a strip club table with five men,
forming a broken circle; the five empty
champagne bottles contain orbs, tricks of light;
you smile, showing teeth—
three will soon go missing—

your right hand seems to restrain the left,
as if you couldn’t trust what it’d touch.

When we first met, you taught me to look
someone in the eyes when speaking. This habit
inspires confidence. You also taught me how to kiss,
thank you.

If I divide our time together by my life expectancy,
you equal close to zero. The rain has quit outside.

I spoke once about my desire to take off
my clothes and walk around the neighborhood naked.
You closed your eyes; you smiled, kindly.
(How’d your laugh sound again?)

I hope, in time, to feel nothing towards you.


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