You and Me and Your Bass Guitar and My Bass Guitar and Every Corgi on Google Images/ E.E. Scott

We skipped the last band
bathed the porch with evening whispers
and escaped into the park
to swim inside the cicadas.
The wind was a gentle drumbeat of wanting.
In the grass, in the streetlight, every porcelain inch
of me glowed and you hollowed me
with hums of ‘I love you’ and ‘always.’
A swarm of bees strumming in my blood.
Here is the moment where I knew better but didn’t stop.
My heart betraying me as we fumbled the grass and fingered
the sheets, my lazy hands tripping
over the chords and into your arms.
A laptop flickering infinite.
I kissed you, and if I wanted to stop I still could’ve.
I kissed again.
My heart is an abyss in you, calm cradled quiet abyss.

YOU CAN REMAIN ANONYMOUS/ BUD SMITH

from time to time
we descend the fire escape
declaring war on 173rd street

on Friday night
there was a wall of cops
on the corner
a girl, abducted
an unmarked van
gunpoint, ski masks,
children seeing it all
from the chain link
in the dog park

our problems:
the corner store is closed
we have to walk uphill to get beer
there’s construction
they’ve torn up the road
I loop around forever
searching for a spot
“in the city it’s not called a road”
“who fucking cares”
the subway will soon contain
all the hell storms of Hell itself
and we will sweat
the fruit stands return
but nothing is ripe yet
I eat it anyway,
like a world destroyer
nothing sadder than a bland pear

Saturday, a squad car
drives all up and down the block
playing a loop
“If anyone has information
regarding an incident
involving a missing person
and a white unmarked van
driven away in the night
please contact the NYPD.
You can remain anonymous.”

for lunch I make eggs
I make bacon
the toast is perfect
best toast I’ve ever toasted
we sit at the yellow table
slowly sipping hot coffee
eyeing each other up
all while the cop cars
slowly circle below
playing that announcement

she’s afraid. I’m afraid.
it’s like we will be dragged off
at any moment
by our hair, by our teeth
by the veins of our heart
however they’d figure out
how to do that
criminal masterminds

Monday, at her desk
her co-workers ask her about it
“the thing”. It gets much coverage
all across the office.
by lunch, a girl has found some info
online that says: “over the weekend,
persons of interest came forward
and confessed to police
that they were involved in the “abduction”
on 173rd street. It seems
that a young man was picking up
his girlfriend for a SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY
and startled her. She screamed.
She got in the van. They drove away.
To the party. Had cake. Had balloons.
That was it. Happy Birthday.”

and I stand
at the window of my corner store
peering into the darkness
wondering
when we’ll crash land into Heaven
and get our just rewards
for all of our uphill struggles
Never, probably.
I crunch into a hard nectarine.

ALL OF THE SUDDEN/ EDWIN R. PERRY

all of the sudden you are brilliant and i am made to sparkle through knowing you, dumb like a coy fish glinting off a penny: O shiny afterlife, invite me to bed. i, receptacle of dead ends, cannot make grow from seed. cannot convince no child-ghosts to follow me on my matronly references: my knees worn a daughter figure into the luminous bowl of dirt – where my reflection could be yours, could be made more beautiful if i only had the brain to paint myself a landscape. to sit static in the distance – my chin innocently on my knees. insinuated motion in crest of wave: to drown in air, in ceilinglessness. my head is full of water; just plow me already.

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