lace georgette corset sob
slashed shoulder so elegant

last chance for handling money
in public, in concert optic bones grip

red carpet gowns surging amber
no placid meadow only scarred lips

black lace rips
as your selvage announces

flax flowers of the optic nerve,
a sliced chiffon eternity

Iris-in and further a forest no forefathers
assault summit boys all motor car

Iris-out no grownups no cleanups
only the heave canopy where pink dust floats

Iris-in scarring forward into a blush
a touch of pride a brush with violence

Iris-out on a river of sparks
the hea(r)t of the tropics

Wearing golden plastic bodices, the models pissed over mirrors,
their golden puddle-faces gathered hungry butterflies

a butterfly hungry for our salty piss
a watercolor bleed

sodium is a matter of
life or death

sodium chlorate is an oxidizer
in the manufacture of dyes and explosives

the butterflies are but momentary blottings
piss explodes whoever the reflected face

when male butterflies β€œpuddle”
it ensures reproductive success

in this story rainbows come
from the salt of the earth

The projector-sound of leather
always motorcycles my ears

While superb fragrance pours
on this leather night

On the runway a flexing penis
pumps a piss clatter of rain

Or was that the hot flashbulbs
in the exhausted meadow?

Anyway, winter will soon cover
this dead leafy aroma

But will it be able to mask
the scent of blood?

even a broken camera is not harmless
it harnesses the dark conduction of ghosts

the best doctors say stuff doctors say
and the list goes on and on

uneven ataxia

a boy runs away from home
bruised and wandering satellite

into the clatter
of night

mother goes back-and-forth
maybe it was lavender

after surgery, you are asked
to pose for a photograph

knowing your insurance
will never cover

the number of times you
desired pitch-black

Paul Cunningham is a Managing Editor of Action Books and Content Manager of the Action Books Blog. He is the author of The House of the Tree of Sores (Schism2, 2020) and the translator of Helena Γ–sterlund’s Words (OOMPH Press, 2019). He has new poems forthcoming in Denver Quarterly, The Fourth River, and his β€œAmerican Decadence” manifesto will appear in the second volume of The Neo-Decadent Anthology (Snuggly Books, 2021). These poems are unpublished excerpts from a larger collection called “Fall Garment”. @p_cunning

*Image credit: James Turrell, Aten Reign, 2013.