by Mark DeCarteret

For a second, the sea was the color of slate
and my to-go cup of tea had gone to smog.

But not even you or that crow that woke saddled
with night could talk me down from the tower.

I’ve got an acre of droppings and rocks
that need to be raked with incomprehensible care.

And my fingernails look slain with curry–
an older, more storied gold, than my ring.

How is it, the lost-then-found doubles in meaning
while the what-won’t-ever-be still holds out for one?

I locate case studies in these sorts of details
but any antidotes are come upon much too late.

So, so much for the cat spilling out on your lap
licking itself far too skillfully for our liking.

And the petals, like wet condoms, stuck to the sill.
You will roll over, volunteering yet another sigh,

getting that look like you’re thinking of leaving–
this cutest of grins suctioned into your veil.

Something ghostly threads through the door lock.
I take a cocktail-sword to where my heart was.                                                                                                                 


Mark DeCarteretMark DeCarteret has appeared next to Charles Bukowski in a lo-fi fold out, Pope John Paul II in a high test collection of Catholic poetry, Billy Collins in an Italian fashion coffee table book, and Mary Oliver in a 3,785 page pirated anthology.


Mark DeCarteret