fall 2018 / Poetry 2018 / volume 49

What Donnie Said—Brian Collier

Dear god, I thought, I hope that’s deer blood and not
how I’m both excited and repulsed by the thought
that I’m mostly a verdant garden of toxins these days.

That’s when the hit shits the fan, my man, Donnie says
later, then laughs his laugh, those dark beady eyes boring right into me
like how a key passes through a keyhole. Asshole. He wasn’t joking.

I wanted to laugh too. But then the grip of terror, a cold vein clutched
and running beneath it all emerged, rumbling over tracks laid down ages
ago, over the things we hoped would never be excavated, pages
of confessions, fossils of regret, old love notes, murder weapons and such

exquisite scents! Never mind the dents in the car, the sheer, dumb
force of impact. But that sound—just under the soft, violent hum
of the machinery: a mechanical rolling of the tumblers’ recourse,
this parade of viscera, wreckage providing only a glimpse
of the gristle, the source.

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