Everything I do is an accident like lilacs when they hang in a neck of rope or a map of noise that follows me into streetlights at 4A.M. near where you lie under bluegrass and stone or why I never visit but pass by your body lonely a thousand times or why my hands are unclean or why this color grey feels better than I remember or for $100 dollars a crack addict will kill anybody for anyone and while the world grows bombs that sound like a room or a dream I had last night of you haven't changed I watch the leaves change and fall onto your headstone fixing the color of your house or why cold air is the engine of my grief and why I can't lift stones without you.
The Years Dad Blamed the Breeze Some nights I imagine Dad as the lift in a shoe or wing of a plane — his wisdom packed with imaginary insight: all shadows have eyes, he'd say, stoking the embers hoping to bring back life and Amber the year Amber flew our coop to join a coup; the year mom split with the televangelist — Dad, always blaming the breeze saying, they'd never leave us. Some nights I find him alone, outside — forefinger pressed to the air. Some nights I find him alone, outside — wound so tight he's ripping.
We Are Not Hot We Are Melting On Wilshire our Cadillac is carjacked at high noon stranded inside a city that eats Cadillacs & stars & traffic is not slow & we are not hot we are melting so we search for our brother who is missing & lost & not here in this fine Beverly Hills median strip of grass the color of expensive glass & I think I hear his favorite Sir Mix-A-Lot song sung from the shitty t-shirt section of a bodega on Crenshaw where Michelle & I work the streets for more than money b/c (apparently) we were absent the day God delivered good daddys & instead we make money by the minute turning men into $ cracking mirrors for luck though I have not come here to tell you this we came for more $ & escape & to find Glenn & instead find a botched robbery behind Grauman's where we watch this dying guy take his dying gasp on Hollywood n Vine we finally found Paul Reuben's star.
Sometimes I write about yard plants instead I've always wanted to use the word bougainvillea in a poem but could never locate your garden. I've always thought my past boyfriends as wrong & brilliant at the same time— like a diamond on a knuckle of a severed fist. I've always thought if anyone finds themselves in one of my poems most likely they will die in it. Once, Uncle Brandy & I traveled backwards down a dirt hill in an unhinged tilt-a-whirl cage, yet we did not flip. Sometimes I ponder what Lovell said in my NA meetings— crack should be called broke because we're all broke. Sometimes I wish someone else had died instead of you. Sometimes I feel it snowing in Maryland even when I am applying lotion in Florida. Sometimes I write about you. Sometimes I write about yard plants instead. I've often thought if I could meet anyone in the world I'd want to remeet you.
Yvonne Amey holds an MFA from the University of Central Florida. Her poems, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Tin House, 50 G’s, Arc Poetry, The Florida Review, and elsewhere.