Drifter by JAMES DIAZ


good god
he’s swinging the sink
out the window again
and just how many blue birds
can one man chase around the yard
until the cops arrive
lovable little creature
of the neon mountain
come chew the size of this hurt
down for me
cancel all my debts
lend me a good pair of shoes
for the road I’m walkin’ on

how hard did you drive those dreams
into the ground,
must have hurt when no one saw what was comin’
and you had no clean clothes
upon release
shufflin’ along the highway
aching to be
but only dyin’ in time

there is a pure flash of life
you chase like a dog his tail
linger on what could have been
like the yellow
patch of light on the surface of the water
you aren’t really there
but you are still a sight to behold
ragged brother
I know what went wrong
I know it ain’t ever gonna get better

three drinks in
it’s the one thing I have left to give you
a poem that ain’t gonna lie to you no more
not tonight –
tonight, brother, I can feel the cold
coming off your bones,
I’m handin’ over my shoes
cause some things words just can’t fix.




James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (Indolent Books, 2018) and All Things Beautiful Are Bent (forthcoming, Alien Buddha Press, 2021,) as well as the founding Editor of Anti-Heroin Chic. Their work has appeared most recently in Cobra Milk Mag, Bear Creek Gazette and Resurrection Mag. They live in a far too cold and snowy upstate New York, where they are waiting patiently for the Spring. 

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