Two Poems by C.J. Miles

Preface 

[Redacted] walks through walls. [Redacted] butters her toast on both sides. [Redacted] bleeds bees. [Redacted] calls me collect from the afterlife. [Redacted] takes photographs of [Redacted] in a bed of cotton balls. [Redacted] is a scar on my right elbow. [Redacted] is born on the edge of a cliff. [Redacted] falls off the cliff, except the cliff is a bridge and the fall is a jump. [Redacted] never uses both sides of a Q-tip. [Redacted] vomits linden trees. [Redacted] sells guns at knife fights. [Redacted] is the arm that holds the scar on my right elbow. [Redacted] wears a bullet proof vest to bed. [Redacted] calls me from the afterlife but always hangs up after the third sigh. [Redacted] dances in the street with wings. [Redacted] kills the video that killed the radio star. [Redacted] is born with flowers in her hair, flowers in her breasts, flowers in her kneecaps. [Redacted] bleeds bees. [Redacted] is six feet below your grandmother’s grave. [Redacted] is up in the air, look up and up, [Redacted] is there, popping lost balloons once owned by lonely children.

photo of medicine bottle containing happy pills

“My Happy Pills bottle” (image via Flickr user Lottie)

Poem in the Fall

You came over dressed as medicine. It wasn’t Halloween but it was close enough. You smelled like a color I had yet to discover. I was determined to try though, so I dressed myself as Christopher Columbus, Ponce de Leon, an archeologist in North Dakota, using a toothbrush to wipe the dirt from the crevices of a fossil. Every pill bottle in my cabinet was expired so I swallowed you whole. You recorded your moans and replayed them while we slept. In the morning I promised you’d never have to wonder how I caught mono. We spent the afternoon walking on grapes and drifted into the evening getting drunk off each other’s feet.

C.J. Miles lives in Iowa with his wife. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Forage, Five 2 One Magazine, Moonglasses Magazine, Unbroken Journal, and Algebra of Owls, among others. Follow him on Twitter at @cjmilespoet.

 

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