Cuyahoga by Kristian Anfinn Tonnessen

blue jeans ride the skinned cusp of my leg; blue collar scrapes throat.

I swell with factory meat.

I well like a river filled with flammables.

show them it's not about the money.

 

it's not a matter of pride.

pride is my sons and I masturbating in our individual bedrooms.

shame sticks them with hurt the Percocet doesn't touch,

and shame keeps daughters of a certain age frightening to me.

 

I shave slowly, locusts poke their heads

through the barren field of my neck.

why do I want to ask you questions

you can only answer by touch? I am thinking of things,

but I cannot talk about the things.

 

how did I recognize you?

from the crow's feet that had landed on the runways of your eyes,

something about Ohio veins on legs

reconciled with straightjacket maps.

 

the university of rust. the factory of rust. I know anger. at the end of the rally,

I shift my thighs over and over--

say loudly slurred and often, 'will someone drive me back to my motel?

my pockets are empty but my blood is full.'