so much like

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sun setting
on the porch with a bad book
lemonade and cigarettes
summer heat has my skirt
sticking to my thighs
a long and welcome breeze
blows across my skin

a car i don’t recognize
rumbles up the drive
close the book
no visitors these days
gravel crunches
under slow tires
can’t see more than shadows
past the glare off the windshield

he gets out
long straight black hair
muscled arms
covered in tattoos
so familiar to me
drop my cigarette
pick it up and tap it out quickly
my mind is hot
my heart beats weirdly
i don’t understand
i know it can’t be him
but it looks so much like …

walking to me
he looks at the ground
can’t see his face behind hair
the jeans, boots, long hair and tattoos
so much like my son
my throat tightens
i feel like crying
my legs won’t hold me up
he takes the steps to the porch
and lifts his head up

looking in mine
dark-ringed eyes i know so well
we both freeze in time
a crow caws
the sound breaks the air between us
and sets us to thaw
i stand
look him up and down and say

you look like him now

 
Words and Image: B. Reeves

no crows

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wayward winds scratch
my hand-stitched smile
sun and moon soothe
my scarecrow face
gold husks
rattle and whisper
the same song
each passing year
reminding me
it wasn’t always so
this fragile peace
this unbroken solitude
my loneliness is felt most

in the absence of crows

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves

war stories

graveyards

the small hours are mine
house quiet
everyone asleep
a dog’s bark echoes
through the hills
bouncing off the pines
up against the reachable stars

tired
of all my war stories
folding them up tonight
end over end
into a small triangle
or maybe
just balled up tight
in the shape of a heart
or the shape of a fist

these war stories
are tired
possibly sad
definitely boring
no one wants to hear them
i no longer yearn to tell them
locking them up tonight
in a small metal box
to bury it in the soft dirt
under the pine needles
and moonlight

by dumb luck
i have dodged bullets
and shooting stars
and falling planets
to find myself now creating
wonderful new stories
stories worth sharing
stories worth hearing
and they have absolutely nothing
to do with a fist
or a gun
or for that matter
even a pen

pull on my boots
slip on my jacket
the sun will wake soon
time to get the shovel

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves

his clouds

3-15

he and i stood there
under the street lights
in the pouring rain
waiting on you

moments earlier i kissed you
for the first time

while he was on the balcony
with his boys
drinking single malt scotch
and smoking $50 cigars

with a smile on your lips
chocolate and red wine
on your breath
you bit my lip
and ran your tongue
across my teeth

the street was busy
rain coming down harder
his mouth was moving
making sounds
but i wasn’t listening
i turned my face skyward
mind in the dark sky

i was waiting for you

the doorman whistled
i snapped open an umbrella
and walked you
from the door to the curb
the three of us
huddled under the canopy
me in the middle somehow
traffic slow and jammed

he threw his arm
around my shoulder
gave me a firm squeeze
and in one whisky breath
told me
he wasn’t a competitive guy
and in the very next
he asked
if when i looked up
did i notice
his clouds were moving
faster than mine

at my back
your warm fingers
slid inside
the waist of my pants
your wedding ring catching
on my belt

hmmmmmm…

taxi?

taxi.

taxi!

 

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves

 

Bad Wolf Woman

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your heavy foot
babe

spins these truck wheels
faster
wind on our faces
flaming cigarette ends
spark the night
let the full moon
red our cheeks
let our laughter
crack the stars
let’s break
all the mirrors
hang our heads
out the windows
and howl at the summer sky

forget all those
worried airbrushed dolls
with ironed faces
and puffed up bodies
give me beauty
scarred by living
give me dirt
blood and fun
and I’ll ride shotgun

with my bad wolf woman

 


Words and Image: B. Reeves

first time

first time1a

never forget your first time
five years-old
a grape vineyard
morning
standing between
my father and his friend
10-gauge shotgun
heavy in my hands
squeeze trigger
BOOM
thrown five feet backward
on my ass
gun still in my hands
pointing at the sky

i loved hunting with my father
he was a terrible shot
one day
he finally hit something
never hunted with him again
no more guns until
sixkiller took me
down to the river
12-pack of beer
boxes of bullets
and his dad’s guns
BOOM BOOM
i couldn’t miss
sixkiller said
i think we should go
into business

funny how things turn out
years later
in a burned out room
on the 10th floor
of a burned out building
conducting business in hell
i tell sixkiller
i read the soul is appraised
by the scale of its actions
and if so
i suspect
we may be in trouble
BOOM BOOM BOOM
sixkiller said
look around us
i think the department
of weights and measures
of the soul
has long been vacated
around here

i miss six

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves