Big commotion last night. Brianna O’Quinn ripped a shotgun blast into the night on Lookout Mountain. No one knows what she saw. She won’t tell neither. The widows on picket duty say they found her on her haunches, eating dirt. But they must of confused her with Darkish. No one else eats dirt but her.
I’m a man of few words. Back at LaGrange, my mama always told Gib and me, “Quiet, boys.” I listened. Gib didn’t.
But I want to ask Brianna what she seen last night. I want to do what I do best: listen. I sit with her at breakfast. But I don’t know what to say. All the widows look at her queer. But I remain with her. Brianna’s appetite has doubled since last night. She stuffs as much food in her mouth as possible. Eats like a hog, except she chews her food slow. She closes her eyes, which look like they might could tear up.
I want to talk to her, tell her whatever she thought she seen last night is gone. But I cain’t. Don’t have the words.
Ralph was a painter of
miniature couches, mostly.
Ralph wore thimbles, like rings &
wore one too many watches, which is to say, two watches, one on each wrist &
sometimes if you listened closely, and you likely listened closely, you could hear that subtle subtle ticktock coming from his ankle. But he wouldn’t dare
cuff his khakis & you
wouldn’t dare drop a dime, half
accidentally, to snoop.
creepshows and peepshows and couldn’t tell the difference
because really what’s the difference
& he only knew George, and George
knew everybody, yes everybody, and George: he made his own paper.
George’s car was only fancy from far; it was covered in duct tape &
the duct tape was covered in sludge,
the kind of sludge that comes from duct tape, & mud
the kind of mud, a tire
might kick up, or down, in Georgia.
Those willows were deceptively weepy.
They’d be just fine & so would Ralph.
Poor George, now that’s another story.
Train tracks & neon signs,
And when the trampoline started to sag, & the sheds became infested with bats and/or the idea of bats, & when the chandelier became a warped and golden spider in its reflection in the spoon, and when the piano bench broke a tendon, and then another tendon, and the thimbles, all the thimbles fell, but did not break, & the banister bore splinters, and the cold from the window, turned the books that were up against the window, blue—that’s when they knew it was time to raise that glass, and strike that match, and burn it burn it burn it all. And wouldn’t it be something? Just to burn it all? Wouldn’t it be dangerous, not to?
Molly Schulman is a poet; she was born in California; she grew up in New York; and now she lives in Georgia. She has many brothers! She has many sisters! She has a crush on most things. After receiving her BA in Creative Writing from The New School in 2009, she went on to work in the publishing industry as an assistant and in-house editor for Molly Friedrich at The Friedrich Agency. She left the agency in October 2013 to pursue her own writing. She is currently working on a book of prose poetry/performance piece called ONE-OF-SIX: A STORY IN HOUSES.
In which the poet confesses a love too real
In words too plain
In which he recalls a social services waiting room,
stolen star wars action figures therein.
In which he laments his inability to time travel
In which he records his voice for his father imprisoned,
whom never relates the conditions thereof.
In which he boasts his ability to perfectly love rabbits
to her, whom he considers a perfect rabbit.
In which the poet attempts to strangle his heart shut
as it bleeds out into his words.
In which he confuses himself for Tom Petty
In which his father hangs a Skip Barber poster
while the poet sleeps on the floor of his office,
drinking tea and reading sutras beforehand
In which his child dies
In which the child’s mother sleeps with his best friend
while he spends three months in Spain learning to drink,
learning to dream in new languages.
In which his next lover shreds his passport
In which he performs yard work in exchange for drugs hard and soft
In which the FBI kicks the door in on the poet at six years old
In which a female FBI agent tucks the poet into bed
In which he holds his children and sings
In which he loves too much
In which he confesses he can’t stop
He is lost.
Adam Tedesco has been reading and writing poetry for a long time. Some of his poems and criticism have been published. He once ran to the top of the tallest building between Manhattan and Montreal. His lungs turned black.