This Poem’s About
Alexander Best

This poem’s about what’s inbetween, this part’s
the piece got left out.

Crawled onto the roof where calmness is. Society’s up
there’s the sky was a guy kind and cool, big and
warm and vague—didn’t beat me.

In the room: dumptrucks heave along, dragging
all dreams through potholes. Oil-burning steam-shovels
unearth me at devilish dawn, pound the 8 x 12-foot ground,
pluck me from the floorboards, with crooked steel teeth
—and fling.

This dream lives the life of a family secret; it’s
rectangled in a cupboard, a thing pretzel-bawdy,
its mouth at its crotch and a scald-pipe
collars the throat.

This poem’s about what’s inbetween, the
bit unmentioned, put neat-to-the-side.
On the table: an eavestrough-vase holds sculpture of
tough, skin-slicing weeds—rumex crispus L.—grew in a
dry oasis ’neath the expressway. These weeds
proclaim the Dot. And a bricked-in, coal-chunk’d,
wall-eyed cot railroads fright from me, in a
room’s as trusted, big-busted, nut-clamped and
breakneck as within’s the rattled world without.

This poem can’t take the hint. Ignored, dropped,
still it’s self-propelled on a head of steam.

At last, this poem describes the face in shadow,
turned toward an ancient painted place,
dirty Hell&back t-shirt stretched ’cross
cave-bound eyes like tissue of silk.
This poem’s what’s behind the shrapnel mask;
a record of the dear loss of the fake.
This poem, it gladly ends.