Vagabond Baggage

The tear wound bleeds inked paper,

book spines, rusty sandal clasp,

computer cord veins, black. Ribbons of

blue frayed flesh unravel lissome. The

mouth heaves a soft bible with

matted leaves like a sigh, teeth

tearing apart, a toothbrush

tweezing the jagged gap.

Pens poke like spines from its

netted sides, tangled in old receipts.

A half-full CamelBak wedges between it

and an unfamiliar backseat. Two slender

legs, long, crossed, curl over it, serape-coated,

socks swishing the window at cars that pass

on the road.

Peripheral Neuropathy

White-washed tomb,

tiny square bedroom,

women’s voices twitter

outside the closed door.

Knees give,

shoulders crunch

into wall,

body thumps

to the floor.

One arm hugs legs, the other caresses wall:

Stroke the little white nodes these hand can’t see;

Eyes adjust, I call myself crazy, pat wall softly;

Smack harder, the wall will be closer to nerves—





Numbness, only, tingles up my arm.

I scream

into pale sheets.

The pattering feet of happiness, I hear,

come down the hall. A feminine voice coos lightly through the door—

Are you there?

No.                                   Yes.

I don’t know anymore.