Amy King


Never Is Less


Than the emptiness I once made of it, your confusion

crosses the sands of time, a cracked hourglass of regular rain,

where you were shaped exactly the way I remember admiring.

But still, we panted at more than we ever could handle, broke

formation and asked to be wed in the Grand Canyon,

with dynamite for a nightlight.

(They're still writing off the echoes.)

Our professor once professed, in phosphorescent fashion,

"First thought, anticipated stranger…" Such was the way

I embarked on this painting, these colors streaking

my pupils until reality and its raw sugar content

could no longer be deciphered from the storage kept

beneath the series of beds I lay my length in. Somehow we

all assume the rip-off artist, the stranger we hope

will take us each-to-each, breast-to-breast, and hold onto

well beyond the 16 millimeter candle that flickers ahead.

Once the pixels forgive the confetti we've been riding,

they explain dire things we now don't mind forgetting.

An example of full disclosure witnessed since admits

the death of the Spirit left the angels in a strange position.

They are alone with us here, for the very first time.

Wings began to rustle, polling each breeze that passed

for a person's human sight. We became accountable

in ways as yet unpredicted. And my balloon façade took

your eye away, up higher to the point among

a string of clouds airborne blind, where the puppet pulleys

appeared, revealing we've been tugging at the wheel all along.





Everyone Has a Decision to Make


Among the cedar trees, mother died for me

to feel less alone, flickering sibling anima for God.

I was assailed by memories that caulk the face

with passing lengths of fishnet Cadillacs, rosy hues

that carry our closing wounds with wind.

Departed wildflowers also stay dead. We should have

been donut conundrums apropos, wholes with no centers,

dabbling hands in muscled waves of wandering oars,

sexing their way, pretending slick external parts.


Groundskeepers left a sedated mob at the funeral's end,

plucking cabbage beneath a morning dew spread

in leaf-like crevices your ghost now hosts alone.

Such presence strikes me from a kitten's perspective

who knows no color besides the warming blur, but sky

seeks conclusion like any place where leprosy goes

uncommon, and we find behind the scenes

lurks our cabezas wrapped in red red wool, dormant

and dying to play, our little seedlings, tiny hot nests.





Tuxedo Justice Yours


Walking along, peeling air within

your tuxedoed skin, you find it's you

who's walking without the you before,

digging out the you again. A black tie could

take us back in time to accidental jurors who buy

our house, throw boxers on the lawn, and a dirt

burns loose reputation's sudden shores.

Despite these buzzing amputations,

we manage to pass a sideways soup

off as retractable limbs on the wheel of guilt,

a fingerless medley playing summer intercession

when the kids backpack through Europe

and leave us tending the seagull flock

just off the coast of nigh. Later that trial,

I left my car aside, left my sides inside,

as insides left become holes in sun

cluttering the lot I dug bread crumbs from,

open-sided, scapegoated, corkscrewed.

Smells of wormhole chats depend upon

a city bent on pneumonic control, then knock

the Chelsea Hotel down. I never

occupied a spirit shedding hair loosely

on my lower floor, another man's ceiling,

until that ride on the foot chair pulley called

to each apartment door. The defendants own

a sentimental hygiene unlike any open-fisted

justice I've yet to sell, thus the broken arms

will quell a champagne bodice, once I become

my own man again, ready, of course, to suit you.




Pocket Snail


In the hem of your garment spies

the woman's empty bar stool directly

across from us on an alpha beta parking lot


Where stands a poison cup to sip

us free, Chinese-dubbed translations

from tea in dollar machines that speak

either/or the doll of circle called to dance


Circumstance becomes her twin friend

Position, who wants to age and is not

glad for monkeys cradled closest to the heart,

moving every part, dancing walls on angles


When the animal could not animal,

she hid a warmth beneath

the sand, half happy shift atop

my little cage of romance into pork 'n beans


Since childhood when the sweeter

sapling tree snows "no snow" really,

a sunlit window looks in at me

upon myself, molasses spelling artful


Smeared mathematics false, captured ring

on finger saves her protein-slickened places,

a segment within that picks our sins, in part.




Giant Cheeto Goes Live

—after Gary Sullivan

My cheeto hurts. Someone cock-blocked

the tiny buzzard with his own

appropriated-cheeto-invert, baked in an oven

only half my size. I'd lub more sauce with that.

He has casualized his instrument, "The Scarf."

He scarfs and scarfs and builds an intestinal

achievement, while the rest of us pee sleep

through the lips of our teeth.

Cheer up, for I am way scared. I am way sacred, I am

way away, crawling that line ever after to sky,

the sun that glows, and a Son calling home.

What if this yellow pain slowly gives way?

What if the burning?

What if the oven eliminates a bird of female non-product?

What if the most boring pulse keeps steady?

What if product placement?

What if changing labia is not a grandma after all?

What if my cheeto burns brighter?

Who will you tell to escape it?

The chalk outline outmodes us all.