the same week that you leave the west coast they board up the complex and every time I want to remember you I have to take the detour

by Adrian Belmes

They trimmed the palms in the parking lot, you know?
I look at them now, and I think, “What a good thing cut short,
what a fine thing to lay barren.” In the hospital down the road from that house,
I thought I would write about the strangling figs in your yard.
It’s low-hanging fruit, markedly poetic. Who is the host and who is the vine
that grows parasitic and beautiful? It’s easier to write a metaphor
than it is to have a conversation.

But I wrote about surfing, radiology, and meth,
Steely Dan, your salty bong. I still can’t believe
I bought you a Brita just so I could drink water. Yes,
that might be a biohazard, but the beach at San Onofre
is still open to the public, so who are we actually going to trust?
If we could divine the shape of grief through sonography,
would we find Jesus in the ultrasound, a bastard, smiling?

Fuck this. Come out on the water with me. It’s quiet,
a little dangerous, but nice. I might even tell you it’s God
when we feel closer to death.


Adrian Belmes is a reasonably depressed Jewish-Ukrainian poet and book artist residing currently in San Diego. He is editor in chief of Badlung Press and has been previously published in SOFT CARTEL, Philosophical Idiot, Riggwelter Press, X-R-A-Y, and elsewhere. His chapbook, “this town and everyone in it”, was published by Ghost City Press. You can find him at adrianbelmes.com or @adrian_belmes.

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