happy shark

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sixkiller didn’t make it out
who will remember me
to the world
he said
before turning into a bag of bones

i put down my guns
and walked away from it
confiding in the moon
hiding behind the sun
no more leaping off of buildings
just to feel the pain of landing
no more eating glass and sand
just to feel the crunch between teeth

i believe in signs
i believe in absolute north

so here i find you
using only my memory
and a toy compass
i found in a cereal box
if you ask me
i will again sling my guns

these waters are unsafe
you say
and i know this is true
i smell blood
and i am
a happy shark

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves

the heavy stuff

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i can map
the human genome
but lately
i have trouble
finding my way back home

sweetness
i have moved
all of the heavy stuff
that was in the way
of everything

there is room
for others now

there is room for you

 

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves

no fighter

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another broken nose
and continue to tell myself
i’m no fighter

lost count of cuts
stitches
stress fractures
clean breaks

wired to fight
i don’t know why

too dumb to stay down
when others just give up
my crows keep me flying
and that’s enough for me
until i finally break my back

across the devil’s knee

 

Words and Image: B. Reeves

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