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My friend Larry Poodle gets out of jail
so we throw a “Poodle Broke out of Jail Party.”
Just another party at the dump—our duplex--
joined by the tank of oil that warms us in January.
A few kegs and blenders, and late into the evening
bodies fall asleep against anything that doesn’t move.
Too shy to look at anyone, I hardly speak.
Someone’s hand is grasping my foot the way twins are born.
All the nightmares lay beside all the dreams.
Larry shuffles from ash tray to ash tray, emptying smaller ones
into larger ones. He has a thing about fire. It’s a new thing.
He never empties an ash tray directly into the trash can.
He is otherwise very smooth, with chuckling eyes,
and known for having the best Quaaludes in Tidewater.
About life, Larry and I have nothing to say.
It’s the quiet hour that makes me so anxious.
Read the poetry of Barrett Warner
Read a profile of Barrett Warner
Morning Encounter ☊
All doors are locked right now.
Nobody’s home on the street
where every house stands neatly
in place, with flowers
and a wind chime hanging
by the door. Although the mats say
Welcome, no one is here
for hospitality. The sun streams
into unoccupied living rooms
whose only sound is of time
ticking its way across a carpet.
It’s a fine day to be walking
without a destination, just to feel
each step as it falls
and looking up at the mountain
baked into the atmosphere;
to be a sentence beyond interpretation
in a book of desert hours
while a lawn sprinkler whispers
to dry heat,
when a coyote
melts out of the light
and flows across the sidewalk
after picking up a scent
that runs from his nose
through each of his bones
to the last hair on his tail.
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