By: Steve Baltsas

Touchstone, black novice,

Muse of Fire, still clawing back

on the road home. To the only

body you’ve known.

The heating is broken two winters now.

Boiled are the promises there and the

dreams singed for rat fuel.

Cockroach or ant infestation even when

they should be buried, but instead multiply

across the ceiling of your eyes

and tingle up your naked parts to waking.

The air conditioner is broken two summers now.

It had stopped churning daily, the first

You sat around crossed, fanning yourself

with coupons for six packs and dreamt

aloud how much you wanted to touch them.

We still pass now, ask a stranger to buy later.

Peering around as not to get our throat slit,

for there are escapees everywhere, waiting to

flail their box cutters, and diagnoses, and say,

Look what you did to me! and on becoming-

a-man-day, I was sent a razor with no return address

and use it still. It’s never dulled, but I have

to you, not you to me I see, and my

beard grows in again, and moustache, and I

shave my old unibrow alone. I look towards the

mirror and it looks at me and goes behind a door.

Let the posts
come to you.

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