A Halo of Balled Fists

Shantytown compositions

poised to bend and breathe; a situation,

thick with caustic bearing, is seized;


baby sister got the choir in stitches, while

the clock swings back to the starting point—

ring in the palm where you put it


The sky is purple like a shiner,

pulled and full of blame;

every star a pin-point liar,

waiting for a new head to ream


Livia combs the smoke rings out of her blue hair

sobbing out all her fears, treading the ground, a broken doll,

something soft; a pretty face decorated like a Christmas tree


Miles of bad road ahead, but not a stop to drink,

something else to remind them,

of who they are tonight: comatose in bath water, while

the liquid slaps at tongues, drunk; from the grail offered,

emotion-saturated lungs


Not a second to drench hours with pints, for sour mouth is chronic,

and specific to wherever it hurts the most; an edge off the wall,

a point off a blade—

shedding skin for better;

the smoke above lingers,

a halo of balled fists,

the heather grey of dawn,

a miasma plowed through

with the tunneled claw of fingers.


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