December 1998 / Volume One / Issue Three
Vladimir Swirynsky
Yucca Valley

Let's play a game--
Pretend you're driving thru New Mexico
no idea who the Spice Girls are
never having won a game of pinochle
Like a wild bronco thrown off your new Harley
Those twenty stitches forever
a beauty mark on your butt
The gears like a fresh tattoo--
still painful to the touch
Lost in your anger-- down to your last Dr. Pepper
All this happening because you left your wife--

Half hour out of Standing Rock you spot this
flagman  Face-- in and out of sun and shadow,
All your sins reflecting off his white beard
His sign reads
Slow down for salvation--
on the junkyard fence, in large letters,
the words--
Cash for lost souls hitting the brakes,
looking back there's nothin' but the geometry
of yesterday-- the fool's gold of reality

Out of gas
This redhead picks me up--
says no one has ever satisfied her
That she's made love to Bigfoot
Once had to use her silk scarf to
strabgle the fertility gods
Tells me to have fun-- laugh--so I can be the
Pee Wee Herman of poetry
Fearing nothing except her beauty

We plot our course--
Memorize the faces of Gargoyles
Stabbing each other with directions
'til a deadend canyon disarms us
We bed down for the night--
Each of us has a shot of whiskey--
Desert winds relaxed-- like hands in pockets
Quietly the stars drift away from planet Earth,
this riverbank of human ignorance
Thankful for love, we become tumbleweeds
pressed against a chainlink fence

As we crumple into sleep, fragments
of a Beirut night explode in our hearts
I can only guess what tomorrow brings--
each of us promised to be even naughtier
I think-- I'll tie her up
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