B-Side

when the songs you sing

have someone else’s lovebites on them

you are flush, burning:

though not from passion,

but embarrassment.

this here whores den

you rail against,

frequent.

not only as a customer

but as proprietor 

you write the checks

your saddle sore

ass 

can’t cash.

moseying down

poking ‘round

back stair

fire escape.

hell,

throes of passion

deep breaths

lying 

in the bed you’ve made.

you sleep the sleep

of death.

you know your guilt.

Ten dollars and a direction

she relays to me

that I’m odd

(not that I haven’t heard that before)

and that I’ll always

be that way

(yah, I’ve heard that too)

 

and this is why

she likes that chapter:

some steamy romance

going nowhere

because it’s not yet written

or maybe

the plot

dried up

as with my tears

 

accusing fingers

holding your place

between

the part I played

and the mock-up

of a man riding in on a white stallion

saving you

from God knows what

 

open hand offering, reaching

out to you,

and to look upon

you, your favorite

of all the pretty-boy

poster smiles

long, stately mane

flowing in the breeze,

my wizardly ways

which have seen

the world

 

and the knowledge

that this too shall pass.

 

Art credit: Harrison Dale Conti, age 4
“The sun and Daddy at Gumpy and Nini’s”