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September 11, 2013 | Poetry

2 Poems

h. l. nelson

2 Poems photo

Tops Like Arrows

Dan’s Trans Am smashed into the guardrail,
him doing 75, all hopped up
on Dexatrim and Coors Lite.
I remember him, my younger brother,
 grabbing his fleshy waist when he
made the switch, claiming,
“The lite’ll help me lose this muffin
top. Jenny can’t stand to make
love to me no more.”
Dan’s never been the smart
one in the family.
The bastard’s damn lucky only his collarbone,
ankle, and three ribs were broken.
Dr. Farnsbridge at Elmsbranch Hospital in
Elgin said Dan got off easy,
that the dashboard could have
shattered his mandible, hell, his
entire face.
Which would’ve been worse than
that time he had sex with Sarah and
I beat the holy hell out of him,
Sarah crying on the porch with
her shirt half off.
But brothers are brothers, my
Pa said after it’d been a year that
I hadn’t spoken to Dan,
after the divorce.
‘Brothers are brothers,’ I repeated to
Dan when we met for beers that
muggy August night after the locusts
swept through Elgin and
left ratty stalks,
the farmers, hats in hand,
 just shaking their half-tanned heads.
It took a while for them to recoup
their losses.
And me and Dan, too.
I head back to the hospital
after going home to take a shower
and change. I bring Dan a few cans
of Vienna sausages and a crossword
puzzle book.
He always asks me for clues.
I sit in the threadbare chair by
his bed.
He looks good, is getting his color
back, and starts ribbing
me about how long my hair
is in just a week,
and when am I gonna leave
long enough to have Fred the barber
cut it?
I can tell he means, “Thanks
for staying with me, brother.”
He pops a can of the
tiny sausages open and the
book of puzzles.
We’re silent for a few, I look
out the window to the
two-lane street far below, see
Ol’ Jackson’s farm in the
distance, the wheat thick and
full, tops like arrows.
It’ll survive this year.
Like clockwork, Dan asks me
what a six-letter word for
‘resilience’ is. I grin, turn to him,
and say, “Family.”
 

Two Girls, One Bag

Let’s eat Cheetos all weekend.

I’ll smear them in your hair

and call you

my Cheesy Queeny.

You’ll stick them in my nose, ears,

then eat them out,

eat me out

like a weird chip porn,

“Two Girls, One Bag.”

The neighbors will blush with all our

crunchings and wailings

through the wall,

itself thin as a chip.

You’ll have me double dip,

I’ll do it to you queso style.

We’ll consummate our love

with hydrogenated oils and

natural flavorings.

But please,

I beg of you,

please

don’t get guacamole in

my holey.

 

image: Andromeda Veach


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