To West Virginia

Birches burn for miles between us, WV
Unfurling regret
Crying smoke from their veins
The Monongahela crawls
with tawny malaise,
choked
by dregs at the dam
where our nights and mornings
pile high and poison the catfish
(if there were ever
any to begin with)

Your name promised collapse,
but I was the first
to get you drunk
before you ascended into
almost-heaven
and everything else about you seems mine
I want to stir
in the stark, conscious
sleep of that cold,
September parking lot,
twined
in quiet street lights
We wished for softer bones


Gone Fishin'

-after untitled drawing by Emery Hidas

In the desert,
distant shadows
howl
mile

          after

                    evaporating

                              mile

No sun
here
only thick, sick
stain of
rusted ground

& here's
No wind
just throats
writhing
heavy absence

No stream
but cool contention
of tongues
merging indistinguishable

& you
will be alone & 
the parasites
will look like friends

drifting further
topple blind before
desperate
blue
hunger

knowing you
will be swallowed
whole & 
you
were cast off
here
by something
                   real