Ry Frazier: Two Poems

River Street & Elsewhere

the pot we bought was cheap
and tasted like dryer sheets.
had been assembling black market
bird houses. low country arithmetic.

we were relapse-prone and light,
both legs function despite the crutches.

as if our troubles weighed more than fool’s gold.
as if our dice displayed one sole dot per side.

the low score of the high life.
what made Milwaukee famous.

it was never a meal to bite into,
the warm separation of another body
leaving your dirty bed-sheets.

there was nothing between your teeth.

i was only taking a sip.


The Pink Palace

hello. empty envelope. cull, stutter, type, finger, and forget-me-not.
the crammed shelves full of butterfly weight – hot enough for your sweat to sweat.
you may enjoy waffles. you may debone chicken.
the challenge, felt we fevered bunch, was to
die on purpose.

i can hold onto
coughed Bugler tobacco,

reels of sycamore playing low.

the syrup distilled. oh, give me a break, you. give me you.
there was this one time where the month of october
stood on hindlegs and barked into my mouth.
the sly vi veri universum vivus vici of autumn.

this short-of-breath Aleister Crowley
counting change for Winston 100’s.

i spell an apology with ink,
slow dance in the company
of ghosts.

the fog distilled, two tugboats limped by,
the bull river watching you pick apart a sigh.
your legs tipped over the dock, tongue chewing on ice cubes.

your sight increased as we slept.
i could listen to you breathe and
only smell the night.