Picking up a rabbit’s foot from a pile of gold; artisanal gold,
they’d said, but looted is what I heard—pillaged. When I fall asleep
he is standing over me, PREZ KABCOF, and the old water tower is sprouting
from my belly / he shoots it flame spouts & I drown awake; not every night,
but most—but every night the city dies: Taiyo’s postulate
comes to mind: the faces in raindrops will be seen by a new student this year, it goes—
as the old loses sight and climbing. But I can see for miles. I climb. So, why?
When I fall asleep I fall / into glissando, assaulting
hapless, hollow co-op shoppers / all wearing prettier
makes of my face.
So I don’t fall asleep. I don’t
dream. I ignore the sky
of dust, the iron moons.
I carry, again, the blue fire:
to slay the white wolfos To claim
the Iron Boots To reach
the untemperable temple
core So I have to call Shannon
for help So I can play Undercurrent,
Envision our trampoline (No matter
how we’d whip in the sun,
our hair fastened home). So I can
imagine how, in the
of our kidhood,
"PINK PIECES COUGHING UP..."
Pink pieces coughing up my throat yet I’m smoking with Season Hubley
in 1981, just weeks after Escape from New York premiered (she plays “Girl in
Chock Full O’ Nuts”) but we’re down South
amidst the true prisons and bull runs
and who ever said fields of wheat hold more menace than cane
never absorbed the full, aluminum acoustics of a brilliant banana
(the fruit and the fruit itself)
golden and guarded
on an island shook with moon-moist—
we’ve only seen brochures but we’re buoyant,
lacquer of loveliness issuing
from our skin covered only by kerosene khakis
and naked all else as a precipice
wandering the salty streets of Ship Island trying to sniff out the crushed ice
and cucumber beverage Season swears refreshed her
as a child, cooled her so
(as to almost justify the handsome mathematics)
(as to affirm the need to never speak of crafts or how she got places).
I want to believe, sorely
in search of a balm for my throat, cracked
at the mass of her astrophysical hair/beginnings.
No need to ask how she came to this colossal
icyhot lozenge we call our Earth.
She once said something of an urban orb, littered with green & smoldering apples,
of a town she described as post-cinematic, but I was drifting to sleep,
unkempt with relief,
felt her still touching my thousand places at once, and thought is this love
but no (or yes, but also), I discovered,
months later, in the pulpy doom of a theatre’s back row, it was tentacles all along.
Riley Bingham is from New Orleans. He lives in Tuscaloosa, where he is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama. He serves as an assistant editor at the Black Warrior Review. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Caketrain, DIAGRAM, and TINGE.