Big and dark and full of wrong angles
Varying shades of blood and fear
The girl looked out with a blank expression
She had a red scarf pulled over her
Disappeared through the open doorway
Face our words in moonlit guises
Like Halloween devices the shadows
Negotiate her skin at the skyline
Her eyes as big as candy-glazed
Fruit and crazy like an organ player’s
Playing hopeless on the air like prayer
Breathing words, I am not you, she writes
All lights and mirrors I don’t know
So were any of those ageless
Realm of the meanings of things real?
What if this isn’t a mask?
Monster for Breakfast
She makes breakfast. The eggs are red.
Like something rusty. She chats at no-one.
The sleeping figure past the partition wakes.
The bacon cracks the pan. Biscuits, jam.
When the creature rises behind her
She is in shadow. She turns
And holds out a plate with a smile.
She has a look like secrets.
He is flesh-gum, sinister with rot
And maggots, trammeled bone
And misshapen skull and dead
Eyes round in tears. All those years.
Stephen King Is My Daddy
That old rock and roll boogeyman.
I’m jealous of the kids he kept.
He left me in a graveyard
In North Hollywood in 1986,
Behind a tombstone covered in moss,
During his promotional tour for
A book about dead kids.
I didn’t see the irony.
I was six. It was half-past midnight.
He left me with a finger-bone
That he said was good luck.
I stuck it in the corner of my mouth
Like Huck Finn would a piece of straw.
I never knew my mother.
I heard different explanations for her absence.
She was shanghaied onto a gunboat in China,
Pressed into service as a pirate.
She was repairing prosthetic limbs in Zaire,
Under the tutelage of an old watch-maker.
She leaped from The Eiffel Tower and was in
A French institution, recovering,
Twenty-two broken bones and a semi-serious
Opium addiction. She lost all her teeth
And then her tongue fell out too.
It was all true. Last I heard she
Was looking for some tower
And wasn’t even in this part
Of the space-time continuum.
I suppose it should mean something,
But it doesn’t.
I made time in the graveyard reading epitaphs.
I made up poems about people buried there.
Got hungry. I had to eat something other
Than the corpse-fed earthworms I fingered from the soil.
Though the worms weren’t bad. They tasted like skin.
The cemetary was so big I couldn’t
Find my way out, it covered half of Hollywood,
It was like a wilderness preserve, I mean, they kept wolves
There too, and a forest full of ghosts.
Dancing with zombies at night, sleeping
Underground. I had my first kiss with a walking
Skeleton. I’m still not sure if it was a boy or girl.
We’re still dating, all these years later. We communicate
Through a complicated series of jaw-clicks.
©2020 Adam Ai All rights reserved.
Adam Ai is a Puerto Rican and Basque poet, and U.S. Army veteran from Los Angeles, California. He has previously been published in Chiron Review, Kanstellation, Thorn Literary Magazine, Ninshar Arts, South Florida Poetry Journal, Art Times Journal, Ancient Paths Literary Magazine, Pink Plastic House, Abstract: Contemporary Expressions Magazine, The Pointed Circle, and Xenith. Connect with him on Twitter @AdamAiPoems.