Poetry by Derek Richards

the gutter bible
….chapter eight: still life of the party

as the sociopathic fog of jaspers loft
dissipates into a fresh cycle
of language and glow
i here the voice of chaos
smooth, beholden to torn-denim skirt,
bedroom blouse and fix-me eyes
i can fix you, sweetheart, i think,
right now i am the best fuck ever
with no allusion to thigh-sweat
ankle-chokes but the taste
the revival blood so true and brick-black
red as her eyes
angie shutters to a stop
when she smiles at me i piss myself
my god, so lonely

the shield of poisonous friendship
falls into place
we are crowded and blissfully alone
secrets are whispered
failures celebrated
horror transforms into laughter
have you written me any new songs?, she asks,
i’ve been thinking about your voice
at this moment, we are grace,
the only ones who truly hurt with life
not only because we have tasted death
but salted it
caressed and consoled and carved

globe is here, she says,
i hear he’s promised
another midnight overdose

i see the filth-smeared wine glass first
riddle-stained from stale beer, cheap wine
and then the cold-gray fingers, frail arms
until we are desperate to desperate
mere faith and pain apart

i attempt to disguise my tears as claustrophobia
the vulnerability of relief
as intoxication
but i find myself shedding down to the honest
unabashedly hugging and huddling
healing
from the glimpse into our evolution
and thinking
my god, so lonely
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