Ryan Quinn Flanagan



If you linger, old leaflet

as though dropped from a plane,
the seasons will happen without you
if you linger, old leaflet,
out of house-mouse doorways
lit from above like an annunciation painting
littered with punched out cigarette butts,
harbourer long gone, but the habit remains,
the soles of lace-worn shoes sticking to each step
as though the waking world must learn to walk again:
run, hop, glide again…
across avenues long as family blood feuds,
these crimson lip-quivered gorings
of our frenzied bull market vendetta.


In Stinks

Why does anyone do what they do,
meander move from place to place
like a family of non-stringent raccoons
searching out momentary advantage?

Blood thinner refuge
and the in stinks that have kept you
upright and at least half-feral and hungry hippo
since Tesla was killed over a lightbulb.

Since Kim Mitchell stole your patio lanterns
and some genie climbed up out of a public bathroom toilet
when you could not stop rubbing yourself
like a losing scratch ticket at a gambler’s
anonymous meeting.

The desert is sand like the beach is sand.
A red scorpion tattoo on your left forearm
to remember the sting.

That dark quiet way
the bartender lays the bottle down
in front of you and walks off
knowing all your problems aren’t going
anywhere without you.

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