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Joshua Vega Sep 2016
Orange’s split skin, smiling
puckered, and vibrant, stiff
as watermelon rinds,
and melted crystalline,
the crawling amber that reminds me
to make an appointment with God
and tell him he designed
the flower incorrectly.

Confess to him that the colors are all
wrong, the stems should not bend,
the petals should be immortal
so I can trace your birthmarks forever.

Risk burnt retinas to watch
how the light trips over her shoulders,
certain I am staring at the sun until
my eyes fog over, gray, and I pluck
out my eyelashes one by one.

I pray the next set of eyes will be worthy
to absorb her hypnotizing corona.
I will be o.k., I have had my fill
of beauty to last 10 lifetimes
, I think
as I sit and drink her shadow like wine.
Joshua Vega Sep 2016
At the door, you dragged your boots,
Covered your tracks,
Sighs wavered in the hall,
Smearing the sweat, adjusting the thermostat.
You didn't hear me breathing between the paper and the walls.
Scarlet roses screaming, eyelids fluttering in cahoots.

You set the hat down on the counter,
Hoping I’d be there to hang it, brush the fur,
pound potatoes into your dinner,
Sending my pulse soaring with the birds.

The nights spent rancid and dank,
Lonely and dim, the moon offering a borrowed grin,
Playing craps with its teeth across wooden planks,
Where the ribs crack carelessly

Around smoke, sending
Ella’s voice to haunt the air,
Creating the vices that drag you by your toenails,
Floating through the dust that settles around your hair.
The bath tub beckoning in drips for you to visit the holy grail,
Clean the soul, praying in fire that marriage accepts amends.
Joshua Vega Sep 2016

Unfurrow an eyebrow
Lie on pine needle bed,
A pond to the left,
Peach trees on the right,
Standing like martyrs
Whipped by the wind,
their scent bleeding in the air,
cracking your mirrors.
Clouds safety pinned to the sky
whisper behind your head.
The tadpoles aren't the only ones choking.
Staring back at you, unrecognized,
not by choice, but by accident,
the only friend left, rippling in the gossamer scarf.
And time pulled the rug on you, do you regret it?


And what did you do when it rained?
You filled the pond with native tears,
built the calm waters where your nose hovers,
and despite your efforts, have nothing to show
but upward, empty palms crying to the sky,
a dry plead to set free your gaze.
The only thing louder, screaming against
the rattling leaves, is the silence,
an old friend you thought had left you.
Foolishly you welcome it,
set it down by the hearth,
ask where has it been,
what other lovers has it known.
You warm tea for two,
and set out enough blankets for the year,
clinked glasses and wished each other well,
warmed by the fire, settled for the hard winter ahead.
Joshua Vega Sep 2016
At first, we saw the waves recede,
Allowing new sand that’s never breathed
Air before, to be kissed by
A sliver of sunshine.
And you stayed, and you laughed
As the waves went back even more
Almost when you thought the wave would never break,

It comes,
And scrapes its waves against you
As it carries you along the beach,
Across and over the ****.
And you smile at the boy beneath you,
As you pass over the wall
Attempting but failing to plug the wall up with his finger.

It comes unrelenting
And wave after wave fills
Airways with foam and seaweed, offering  
Aeriolies to that punishing God,
Angry. Salt tearing hair
Away from scalp.
And what was once light, now is
Abnormal, still, opaque in the foam.
Alive in the driftwood,
And broken in the home,
Across the destroyed shops I caught,
A tree limb across my back,
And finally the waves just stripped me
And I let the waves attack.
And I let the waves attack.

— The End —