I take out all the empty cans
and give them to the skeleton
in the dumpster drinking run off
from the living world for nothing
but the after taste that triggers
all his memories.

She slides the fresh tip of her knife
against the frosted over window
while the bus can’t keep its pace
on any back road.

The chain link rattles while the mailbox
flags are lowered by the mailman
taking bathroom breaks in absent
people’s yards.

I bite my nails waiting on the balcony
for any sign she wasn’t just pretending
with her pretty words that shake apart
my best responses always.

Then she shows up only half awake
because the bus rides make her tired,
she was never good at just being a passenger.
The fourth floor needs a better ticket
so we have to head back down
and start from scratch again
with nothing but the rain clouds.

We are in a land of endless samples
just to keep us coming back,
and all the names on all the water towers
taunt the stop lights we’ve been waiting on
for hours now.

We ditch our plans while the sunlight fades
into the dark blue of the day
and talk about the places
they can’t charge us for.

Most aren’t standing anymore
reduced into the dust between
these parking lots where no one
has been stopping.

I would pay any premium to make
her brightness permanent,
and keep that butterfly blade
folded in her pocket.

After all I’m angry too,
like the residue of recent pain,
and nothing ever stays the same

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