you who swayed on stoop-steps and picked bits of teeth
from your knuckles, your fantasies, your crouched in blood
you who wrapped knives around tree hides, & in carvings
found your way back to the days of love
& dead wet leaves.
you who rattled in hate of sweaty girls but
smeared out on the boulevard for girls anyways
& made those girls sweat.
you who pissed in snow & wrote the names
of all those far-fallen friends & sisters, in one stream;
pacific coast highway.
you who soaked back in trans-fat pools to grip at tips
of teets & taste employment in its finest phase
you who came hurtling down from hills & hallways
with navajo sidekicks, battle axes sweetened
in sugar powder flecks;
for flavor-waves while dying.
you who peeled skin from your fingertips in protest
of the war on whales, warping you irrevocably
down the path
of a whisky avocado diet.
dad is in the garage.
weeks with the spark-light and piles of plastic
rattles the icebox for more beer.
the homemade android.
like a toy polished, it
dances for us in the kitchen. the dog
barking his endless barks in the backyard.
the thing, eyes wide, overheats
circuits popping into a limp body heap.
& molds in the garage.
the cats under trees across the street.
the dog barking, chained, &
beneath a truck.
dad is in hysterics.
dad is in the garage,
for weeks, his soaked red knuckles.
mom drinking with grandaddy.
the dog dances for us in the kitchen,
reboots and sits.
it digs a pit all night & buries three cats there.
he dog sleeps on that mound.
it never barks.
it waits there in the backyard, still
& staring into the trees.
Coop Lee is currently packing up his belongings and moving to Oregon. He will get more writing done there. At least in dreams it goes that way. And maybe he'll meet a girl there. A terrible and lovely girl.
Illustration by Riley Burrus.