You were in the bathroom putting black stripes under your eyes.
You didn’t really know why people did this,
You knew it was a war thing, or maybe a football one.

You came charging out of the bathroom and jumped on the couch
putting one foot on the cushion, and the other on the arm.
You pointed at me, screaming “HEART FIGHT, BI-OTCH”.

I put down my beer immediately and ripped open my shirt, then my chest.
Blood ran down my forearms and dripped off the back of my elbows
and you always hated when I claimed that elbows had backs.

You were doing the same while simultaneously moving the coffee table.
You reared back, holding your beating heart behind your head like a scorpion,
while I took a more neutral stance, gripping it like a baseball at my side.

We circled each other, slowly, staring each other down.
A fine red stream coursed from our hands and chests.
“Not this time. You’re going down this time.”

“I hope you got your plot picked out cause I’m gonna BURY YOU.”
“I hope you kept your receipt, cause I’m gonna render you defective.”
“I hope you’re not asleep on the train, cause this is the END OF THE LINE.”

The ensuing battle resembled something between modern day mud wrestling
and the second to last act of every Jean Claude Van Damme movie ever made.
It would be three days before we collapsed on the couch, exhausted.

“Pizza for supper?” You asked, slipping your heart back inside your blouse
“Yeah, sure.” I replied, wiping the blood from my eyes.
“Don’t get onions though, Fuck onions.”


Robot rain clouds grind by slowly on these aluminum afternoons,
the sky checkered with blue steel, cold, unforgiving seams and bolt heads.

We’re sitting on the beach running our fingers through the coffee grinds
watching the rusting sun move along the track and disappear behind the skyscraper skyline

A ship on fire sails past us in the brown coffee ocean,
it’s canons firing children’s shoes into the waves percolating in the fishing weirs

In the distance, a man wearing a tuxedo is walking down the beach toward us,
when he reaches us, he stops and places both hands in his jacket pockets.

“Would you like a mint?” he says, his mouth: a bowling alley on fire.
“Yes, we would like a mint,” we reply, our mouths: just regular mouths.

The mint brings my insides to life,
skittering to and fro across the pink of my tongue.

The man in the tuxedo tips his hat, and turns, walking directly into the ocean
the cool breeze stings my peppermint mouth as I watch his hat slip beneath the waves.

Our hands touch beneath the soggy grinds and I feel your skin for just a second.
It’s the only real thing about this place and I revel in the feel of it.

The shiny brass trumpets are washing ashore by the dozen
and the children run, laughing, and gathering  them for the fire.

An hour later, we’re standing along side a fire taller than us,
watching, as it curls around the brass buttons and reaches toward the steel night sky.

The children laugh and run in a circle around the flames, carelessly weaving around us.
A young boy loses his footing in the grinds, and collapses into the blazing trumpets.

In a flash you reach into the flame, grab him by the shorts, and pull him out,
he looks up at you and laughs while the skin falls off the cool steel of his face.

And when the same thing happens to the skin on your right hand
I look out over the brown water, pretending not to notice.


We said goodbye on a Thursday
docking on Mars the following Tuesday.
“Did you enjoy your trip?”
The woman behind the counter asked.
“Yes we did,” we replied in unison,
As if traveling to Mars turned us into the Olsen twins.


Apparently if you don’t like paper or you have one of those fancy electronic book readin’ do-dads, you can buy my book Greetings! from Gumdrop Mountain right now, right here:


Amazin’ (Grace)