A Portfolio of Poetry (2016)

FIREFLIES

I had a buddy named Napalm,

Drank Blue Ribbon by the dozen,

And always had a smoke between his fingers.

Two tours in Vietnam,

Silver Star,

And built like a lineman

But with a shorter temper!

Hence his nickname.

Every 4th we’d watched fireworks go off,

He’d always walk away at some point.

Whenever I’d ask

He’d tell me,

While hiding tears,

“You just wouldn’t understand.”

It was the fireflies.

They reminded him of the muzzle flashes from the Vietcong.

 

The Red Lights

The last nights

I spent

With my head

Bowed

Under the shower

Letting the water

Run

Before my demons came in

With green eyes

And smooth curves

And I asked myself,

“What kind of man am I?”

 

A/C

Great men,

Men who have built legacies

Aren’t always decent,

While there are men

Whose lives went to waste

In a trench

And were forgotten

In a place no one

Had ever

Heard of

 

Vietnam

With my sweat dripping down

Vietnam

My chest pressed against her

Back

As her legs coiled around

Mine

And my hand clenching her

Throat

That I looked up at the

Mirror

And upon seeing her pained

Face

I lost

Myself.

 

Love

I look up from

An empty tumbler

And wonder

If all those people

Praising God on Sunday

And

Holding hands at dinner

Can say they’ve

Never hurt someone

And smiled

 

Dead

I think

That if

I had a noose

Coiled

Around my neck

And a stiletto

Pointed to my heart

I would

Choose to bleed

 

Flight

Some nights

I stand on

The edge of

My balcony

Alone

And wonder

If I can

Fly

 

Hemorrhage

With a few simple murmurs

she slit his throat

from ear to ear.

He sought refuge

at the bottom of a bottle

hiding every rolling tear.

Tossing and turning every night

forcing a pained smile.

There was no light in his eyes

as his heart bled out

While she stood over him

and beckoned

for every last drop of his life.

And so

he bled.

 

Mixed Madmen

I drank all the bourbon

And saw her face in the fire.

I split my veins down the middle

Just to watch the scarlet drip.

I looked into her quite eyes

And my heart skipped

A beat.

Through clinched fists and

Gritted teeth

I murmured,

“I love you,”

And meant every word

As I put the judge to my

Temple

And let the hammer

Strike.

I used to laugh at lovers like this.

As my body swelled in the flames

I squeezed the trigger quick

With a smile.

Because it’s a funny thing.

Love killed me and

So did the bitch with the broom

And innocent smile.

 

Men

I suspect

That all great men

Have,

At one time

Or another,

Sat on the edge

Of the bed alone

And wondered

If anything

They ever did

Really mattered.