Cherry Cola X

 

Our destiny becomes clear in fifteen-

minute segments.

Sister

 

stares it down, never flinches, tells

that other dimension

giving

 

up its secrets to put its

clothes back

on.

 

She has a bracelet with her blood type,

a recipe for soap bubbles, a

glass

 

globe on a pedestal, defiant in her garden,

now taken over by

weeds,

 

a glass for juice and a glass for cherry

cola on a stand near her

bed.

 

 

At the Knees

 

She walks the shore in cutoffs

and a shirt

 

with missing buttons,

and sips

 

from a pint of Aristocrat

since she canŐt

 

pin down the hurt.

It isnŐt funny anymore

 

like it was in old cartoons

with bricks or burning shoes

 

or jugs of triple-x

whiskey.

 

Some mouse has cut her off

at the knees.

 

These are mighty strange kisses.

But she walks,

 

nevertheless, on two legs

like a princess

 

or four like an animal.

The wind picks up,

 

and she spirals downward

like a wounded chicken hawk.

 

 

Boxer Shorts

 

There must be something below. There must be a thin buffer between the formal and the lewd. We smile these days so rarely. Our trousers are banana peels.

 

The above is one way of saying that comedy is complex. And we fall. The more we strive for dignity, the more we taunt gravity. Polka-dots and purple stripes camouflage our secret lives. A cloud of crazy punctuation floats above our heads.

 

© Glen Armstrong

 

Bio:  Glen Armstrong (he/him/his) holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters. He has three current books of poems: Invisible HistoriesThe New Vaudeville, and Midsummer. His work has appeared in Poetry NorthwestConduit, and The Cream City Review.