Bio Note: I’ve lived in Tucson since 1953. My poems have appeared in such journals as Carolina Quarterly, Barrow Street, Cream City Review, Rattle, and New Poets of the American West. I’m a passionate supporter of Sky Island Alliance, a regionally-based environmental organization.
His burnt-orange t-shirt, black letters above the image of an AR-15, the slogan: “quickest way to a man’s heart.” I’d describe him, but why bother? My shrink left town, so I’ll ask myself myself, how did that make you feel, that T-shirt? How? Like the other night when a sound woke me, not the thumpety-thump, thumpety-thump of the cats playing but the thump-scrape, thump-scrape of something dragging itself down the hall to my bedroom. Like that.
The Last Bumper Sticker
Do you believe in magic? Sorry. I meant science. Geospatially-stratified random sampling? Field specific conductance? How about spheres of discharge, multiple seeping sources, climate refugia? No? Then adjust your earbuds. Here comes some extreme karst, here come guest ethicists & their favorite Boko Haram musicals. “Adam had ‘em,” the first poem about fleas. The first joke about rabbits: “It’ll be fun, wasn’t it?” The last bumper sticker: “No jobs on a dead planet.”(Originally appeared in Birkenstock Blues Rockford, MI: Presa Press, 2019)
For convenience, I & my life partner (the woman formerly known as my wife) have numbered our arguments. Number 3, you’re so negative. Number 4, you’re naive. Number 11, another beer already? Number 13, you don’t listen to me. But I do. I just don’t agree. Now my life partner’s on the couch, watching Live P.D. She’s pleased with the police, so kind to the miscreants & trailer trash they apprehend. Of course, they’re kind! They’re on camera! Without looking at me, she holds up three fingers. My life partner wants to make a deal: she’ll stop storing our broken pepper mill upright in the spice rack, pepper everywhere like coarse soot, she’ll store the mill on its side if I stop switching off the light over the dining-room table whenever she’s in another room. Why? Why does she need that light on all day? She raises both fists & opens each one twice. Number 20, you don’t love me.(Originally appeared in Birkenstock Blues Rockford, MI: Presa Press, 2019)
©2020 Jefferson Carter
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