🙏



























four poems 




greensboro taught me to drink


Greensboro taught me to drink
L.A. taught me to drive drunk
to your mother’s during a pandemic
sun hits the freeway like snow
like black ice waiting



a salmon a peach


I have wasted
so much time
even here I
have revised how
I really feel
I mean revisited

your claim to divinity


your claim to divinity:
when you slowed down
the sea & made it shore

you could have walked away
but stayed

do you like
this thong, you said, or the
bikini briefs embroidered w/
a chain motif

I could only
want & misunderstand
what would have been
wetter

I could say oyster
yea they were shells & valves
the rigging held

I was
afraid

mom’s dream


the night they pulled the lever
on John Spenkelink my mother
dreamed she sat astride a throne
dressed in white robes—the
sleeves of her garment were visible
in the dream as well as her hands
which is significant in a dream
the hands are never really yours
they are someone else’s hands
these were not therefore her hands
she disowned them saying who am I
she could not sit in judgment of another
the light took over & in the morning
Spenkelink was dead—& here I am
an organism arraigned to survive
when I was in the womb I appeared
to her as an ostrich in a dreamlarge egg
now as an osprey consequentially
misplaced in the town square & shitting
on the statue of the seated founder
not having grown to believe in founders
who are you to give me life
heads of copper—hands of clay










Travis Diehl is a freelance critic and online editor at X-TRA. 

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