i stopped sweetening my tea so i can taste the leaves. i’ve found that i’m someone who needs to be outside. there’s a dog shaking his head in the other room, itching his stomach with his hind legs. if it means something to you, it means someone to them.
the clouds distort their shapes with movement. i distort my shape with movement. there’s a hollow tree out there that still grows and the eaves of my home slump when it snows. tomorrow i’ll ride my bike to work in the rain and hear the rust snap in the chains. tomorrow i’ll ride my bike to work and hope my helmet is enough to keep me together.
enough references to the bible. enough referees pointing to the bible. i’m saying it’s enough to put pen to paper with only your hand. enough references to someone we can all try to be. enough preferences. enough.
i stopped creaming my coffee when i stopped drinking coffee. enough cigarettes. i stopped and picked up a nickel; no one else was bending over. there’s a dog eating dimes, sweating in his tea.
i’ve broken down outside of a 7-11 and then threw out the cellophane holding my life together. enough cellophane holding our lives together. hold your breath and drink some water.
You Could’ve Broken It with a Knife
He makes his own constellations
from the Christmas lights
still blurring into July. That
there is a bow an’ arrow,
he says, and you can’t tell
if he’s pointing to the window
with a woman unhooking her
bra or the dog taking a shit
in the front lawn.
When You Just Have to Risk Smoking a Cigarette with a Two Year Old in the Room
I’ve learned to sleep sitting up from buses and trains. My friends found me on their couch at 6 in the morning ‘cause they were up all night. I was sitting up with sunglasses and found there is no rock bottom. I’ve learned to sleep sitting up with my mouth open,
wake up at 9:30am and see someone who could be my mom walk to work. I found blue inside my nose and it tasted like raspberries. My friends spend all their time coming back and coming back and coming back. I’ve learned to sleep
sitting with my hands folded and three
pairs of sunglasses covering my lashes.
I’ve found that I am someone who needs a sheet on the couch or I’m nervous about stains. I’ve learned to fill in the cracks of a sidewalk with the sounds of my steps. She walks like I do and I don’t mind walking her home 14 blocks to a house that I can’t enter.
I’ve found that I’m someone who needs to sleep sitting up, waking up at 9:30am to see my mom walking to work in an apron. The dog across the street sits up and watches me rub the raspberries from my nose.
A porch is a place where smoke clings to the wooden sideboards. I’ve learned to sleep in porch dreams. I’ve found that I’m someone who needs smoke clinging to my wooden sideboards. 9:30am cement sidewalks remind me she learned to step like an Indian.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Anthony really tries, really, he tries. He is endlessly thankful for past publications, including Sleet Magazine, Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag, Meat for Tea, The Oklahoma Review, and S/tick.