— Kim Addonizio
It’s winter in the tiny motel.
The man and woman lie down
naked and freezing. A blizzard
streaming on the television,
gloss of ice on the windows,
the bourbon a bottle of fire.
After love she licks
his cold sweat, trying to seal
herself into him.
Smoke from their cigarettes
rising, disappearing as they sink
into sleep. If I shake them
awake now they’ll tumble
from the white bed,
ashes swirling and searing
their skin. Already
my hands, numb from holding them,
begin their painful prickling.
Already I’m remembering
his breath on my face, hot
as an animal’s, his insistent tongue.
Better to let them
lie there, then. To let the chill
of the deep drifts bury them.
— John Tranter
Another fuckwit drops into the dustbin
of history, just as we’re finishing our coffee.
Some of us are meant to burn out, is that
right? Like roman candles, across the night sky.
I want to go up like a tree, not a rocket.
I’d like to get drunk disgracefully
with a favorite neice, and grow old
among an amplitude of footnotes.
Pour me another Pernod, Famous Poet, and
tell me again about the doomstruck literati,
those dropouts immortalized in ink — your
thirst, your secret greed, your mausoleum.
The Old Man
— George Oppen
The old man
In the mirror
But the young man
In the photograph
Image: Saul Leiter, NYC Snow, 1950s
* Contributor Andy Fox has worked as a private investigator and a bartender. He’s also edited a book of poetry and plays in the D.C. band Nice Breeze. He has published The Dust Congresssince November 2002.