The Acme Speed-Queen
She paves her ways with a steam roller,
like a one-sided record
that she plays when she wants to remember.
She thinks it sounds as smooth as it looks,
but when I listen, I can't hear any music
over the crackle of hot tar and gravel.
She blends a cocktail
to prove that she knows the difference
between mixed-up and confused,
and before pouring,
murmurs her name into my glass.
I feel it in the back of my throat,
both soft and scratchy like fiberglass
soaked in a whiskey sour.
She takes the shape of whatever lies on top of her,
becomes a backward impression.
A mattress fits her better than any body.
Like all of these people she meets,
I come with my jackhammer,
tear up the one-way street.
Fireworks have been outlawed,
We shower the air with bullets.
Enter the king,
strobed in smoke and flash cubes.
Instead of a powdered wig,
hair piece and spray.
On out-stretched arms,
he balances a ring-tailed lemur
whose face appears on the dollar bill.
The king does his own stunts.
The queen follows
like a trolling lure.
The sun is skeptical,
Words like uncertain are
reserved for the weather.
An arrest, charges,
a man who watched too many cartoons.
The bomb on the buffet
a kitchen staff conspiracy
uncovered when a woman bit down
on a tiny explosion,
diamonds in the mashed potatoes.
Please stand for the car alarm anthem,
The flag wags like the tongue of an idiot.
Sharing a Mantel with Trophies
Patio Daddy-O cruises the strip,
his rubber-band memory pulled back
Forgets sometimes the further the stretch,
the harder he'll feel the snap.
He watches his past
in the rear-view mirror:
choice bits, hula-skirt hips
sway checkered flags,
Go-go girls blowing kisses.
His wife soaking feet
with the breakfast dishes.
static between lite-rock stations.
Santo and Johnny
cut with Air Supply
thaw a place in his chest.
He stops at Moby's SouvenirLand,
picks through sea shells,
lives replaced with sand.
Finds for his wife, a starfish,
one that is dried with promise.