I have developed a taste for simple things
Bitter pills and desert rock
Lost photographs and abandoned mines

I count my steps
I search for meaning in the descent
I wear my bruises like stars
The sand in my shoe is a comfort
I sleep with a rock for my pillow
And burn candles to false gods
I black out to fight back against daybreak

These pretty girls are boring me
I need a lover with a hidden injury
Torn jeans and a scar or three

Let’s dig through this trash for bits of gold
Lost pages from some drunk’s diary
Worn-out earrings and broken watches
We’ll overturn every rock
And watch the worms rebuilding the earth

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Jeff Luker. This is pretty much what I pictured when I wrote my last poem.

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Ghost Stories

Through the trees
They saw the spirits moving
Remembered tales they heard as children
Legends passed down from mother to daughter
Ghosts
Memories that would not die
Children taken by fevers
Wives taken by jealous husbands
Men taken by booze and knives

The fire became a deeper red
They saw the spirits moving

A brave one led them through the trees
To see if the tales were true
Ghosts
Rituals to resurrect memories
Incantations to horned gods
Slain sheep and goats and children

They left the light
Joined the shadows of the forest
To follow the spirits
Moving through the trees
Stumbled into moonlight
A pagan grove
Circle of stone and wood

And 30 wild horses
Moving through the trees
Like memories that would not die
Ghosts

They watched the horses grazing
Remembering tales they heard as children
Returned to the fire in silence
Carrying their ghosts

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Bones

Yesterday, I tried to help you find your bones
The structures that used to support you
Ribs like great girders that held you together
But all we found was dust

Now, you’re a jellyfish
Let’s float along and hope
No one notices

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Throwback

If I have my own
voice

it is less Jay-Z
more

William Carlos Williams-
slow,

metered lines set
plumb

But no one cares
about

stupid old wheel
barrows

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