I gently tap the blackened brown
crust of caramelized sugar
while I listen to pretentious poetry.
A buffalo plays for one man while another
man sits with his mother in the cancer ward
A girl sips her beer and looks at a painting
of a faceless woman while her date rapes her.
The next boy watches a convoy of ottomans
roll into town after a furniture truck crash.
Quakers. “Three strokes and an episiotomy.” Autumn.
Charcoal. Ode to a word in cliché and forced rhyme.
“Love is hard like heroin.”
A Reverend in all black, driving north
April 30, 10:30 p.m. A house burns down,
“breathing, buckling like a horse dying.”
The Reverend sits as a Democrat in flannel
says there will be four more years of winter.
I giggle as they tally the scores.
The server brings me another crème brulee
along with a mug of warm pale ale.
I take my spoon and gently tap the sugar,
peeling open a layer of richness, delicious,
while on the stage thirteen poets take
hammers to their ideas, desperate for my vote.