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Mall of America photo

Mall of America

I am always in the Mall of America
in my dreams.

Last night I was choking on the floor
of my America.

I asked a man to help me
but he was too busy

in his spotlight, answering questions
rows of little girls asked him.

I was alone
fishbones deep in my throat

but God
was he beautiful.

They are always selling
deep-fried Oreos somewhere.



I carved our initials in a heart
on the trunk of the oldest tree.
I obscured myself with holy water,
slept among ancient incense
& bottled rosewater behind the altar
of my church.

I burned my journals in Chicago
snow, blackened them with diner matches
& coughed myself out like a stiff drink.
Left ransom notes for you in middle-
school desks, saw you behind the wheel
of every car.

Sent you smoke-signals with Camel menthols
on the roof of my house, contorted my bones.
A swan nestling in itself.


This is hardcore

I’m hungry,

My heart is
a trailer park,

I’ll let anything

I always miss
the green flash

in those
Florida sunsets

& I’ll never
forgive myself.

Something’s missing
in me

but when I’m draped
in silk

I can’t remember

My heart is
a sugar donut.

The ants
took it all away.





image: Aaron Burch