Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Virginia Normal, Credo Espoir, and Chiron Review, among others.
CIRCLE IN THE SAND
I cannot tell you why the lepidoptera do not fly south for the winter, or why this goddamn song is stuck in my head; I can only tell you about the things I know, the creaminess of your shoulder's skin beneath my fingers, the tang of sweat on your cheek when I kiss you, the truth of how your body fits so well in my arms.
when you look at the screen of the electron microscope
sometimes you see a microbe with the face of a bird
SHADOWPLAY: WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI
The old barriers are set adrift in banks of clouds, opaque. They hang over the river, sentries who obscure the view: and then we have passed and we are here. West.
I have always thought of Texas as red. In my youth I had a plastic puzzle of the states, put away when by brother swallowed Vermont. Texas was red, and remained so for decades. From miles up I see what can only be Sam Houston Race Park, with its lack of turf course, surrounded by green so dark it may as well be Vermont, afterwards.
It fell away in tan New Mexico. But desert is not endless. It is broken with green patches, pocked with salt flats, quarries. But dominant was tan, sand and dirty roads and fifty miles without a single house.
We followed one road as long as I watched; it snaked through desert, riverbeds, greenery with equal stolidness. North, twenty miles or so, a river. A cool blue ribbon tossed into a sandbox.
As the river crooked, the plane slowed, and I looked west to Arizona. I expected it to be as yellow as its puzzle piece.
There are recipes, thousands of them that make the rounds, church suppers, fundraisers, celebrity chef cookbooks. They command you—a quarter-teaspoon of this, a tablespoon of that, a money-back guarantee that your entree will please the pickiest mother-in-law.
Any chef worth his nigella will tell you this is ludicrous. Spice application more resembles black magic than organic chemistry. We measure in pinches, tads, dribs and drabs, speak of eyeballing it. Fenugreek and asafoetida replace newt and frog, but the process remains static. We run our fingers through powdered gold, let it drift down to the bubbles in the Dutch oven. We offer words to the various deities of hearth, fire animal, vegetable. Hands weave in complex forms with whisks, spoons, a ladle to taste. And of course, like any magic, we sit, ponder the outcomes, read our fortunes in haggis, tea leaves, salt.
I run my finger through the red silky hair of your forearm, resist the urge to bring it to my lips, guess the arcane art that formed you.
She wonders why she can't laugh at her situation anymore
as the dog pisses on the bedroom rug again and the TV is still on the blink her boyfriend just dumped her and she had to take a pay cut or lose her job
maybe if she throws the TV out the window it'll land on her boyfriend's head