The Poetry Project

Franklin K.R. Cline


the battery in the car died the other day when was cleaning out my pockets
to prove to my mother i had no heroin to dump down
the garbage disposal of my body. i have no lifestyle
to speak of. my deathstyle is blooming the way leaves
darken in autumn, the sun sets before dinner is ready, though
i cant tell if its dark or light anymore, the sun has ceased
to matter, like caesura, uncertainty, the seas shrinking
all over earth because of more than not. dont think id be
happy during any moment in time, if it exists. the man jumped
the battery but the battery was dead. theres lights
wrapped around trees all over town because someone maybe
died a couple millennia ago and we are still sad about it so
we shine lights out to make the empty trees full or to call out
to each other, to make nature human somehow, a hybrid, not
so much real as there, to dress up what might be naturally ugly
with something we made and therefore
think is beautiful. in this rehab they just whomp you with ativan
so you become a tree wrapped in lights unsolidily perpetuating
the same four halls and your small bedroom and your radio/tape deck
surrounded by walls too thick to tune in the outside so you play
the one tape you have over and over until it turns into your bed
and when the 88-minute-long tape starts clicking
because the tape deck doesnt stop automatically so every
tape you own at the home at which you are not ends the same and you hear
another full bed softly wheeling down the slim hallway,
and then another one empty but for sighs, it is time for another pill
and something else at the end of the night to help you sleep,
to turn off the light you have inside too, the one that starts
in your stomach and leaves holes in your arms or between
your toes and instead jumpstars a dim nightlight in your brain,
one that one day might supernova, or become a cloud.

Issue 19