Carina Richardson- New Testament

On the curb of 17th street,
under the bent No Parking sign,
there is a red truck with a
half-stoned girl in knock off
Louboutins reading her great
aunt’s faded tarot cards in
the backseat. Her boyfriend
is passed out in the passenger
seat, blood drying in his right
fist around car keys pressed
into his palm. The tarot cards
slip from the girl’s hands and
fan onto the burger king
wrappers below. When she
searches through the trash,
the only one she can find is
the Empress.

In the mirror of the cramped hospital
bathroom, the girl reapplies her half
smeared eyeliner. Her nails are ringed
red from scratched off nail polish and
hangnails and her eyes are ringed
purple from lack of sleep. For the past
seven hours, she has drifted between
consciousness with beeping monitors as
lullabies. After a while, one forgets if the
shadows on the walls are being cast by
the sun or fluorescent lights.

(a Choir of Angels)
this is a Gloria for the deadbeat poets and the
drop out artists who live in nicotine dreams

this is a Gloria for the kids sneaking out to
graffiti church walls and watch the sunrise on crumbling

this is a Gloria for the streetlamp exchanges
over tattoo artists and how stars die

this is a Gloria for our feet, hanging out of
the backseat window so our nail polish dries

this is a Gloria for the words we left wrapped
in gum wrappers that we tucked into sidewalk

this is a Gloria for our sleepless nights on fire
escapes, with a choir of angels drinking blood orange
martinis on the floor above us

this is a Gloria for the stars

I waited ten
days for rain
to kiss you
under (you
told me in
that you had
always wanted
to kiss in the
rain). I waited
five days for
rain to wash off
your hands
your mouth
your memory.
I waited one
day for rain
to say goodbye.

a Record of Miracles That Have Since Been Lost
SEARCH: do they remember me?
is it possible to dive into the ocean from 40 feet?
how much cyanide is in an apple seed?
how many people have walked across the Pacific ocean?
do they remember me?
how fast can you drive a Toyota Camry and for how long?
is it possible to drown yourself in the rain?
what is the memory capacity of the human brain?
do they remember me?

Last Supper
You said to grab something to eat
before we left. I asked where. you
said away. under yellow lights and
fluorescent stars, I ate stale granola
as you pushed 110. I asked you what
the speed limit was and you laughed.
You asked me if I thought cops were
around. I ate dried peaches as we
glowed under gas station lamps,
inhaling stale cigarettes and gasoline
fumes. I asked you how much gas
we could get with twenty-four dollars,
you told me not far enough. I
swallowed flavorless gum as the
sun burnt the shadows of the city
onto the road ahead of us. I asked
if you wanted to turn back. You said
too late.

In a motel bedroom, you showed me how
to light a match with your teeth. You blew
smoke rings and I broke them with my
thumb and we listened to gospel music
through static on an old radio. After an
hour of watching stars light up the sky,
I curled into stained sheets as you opened
the window. When I woke up, I felt a
morning breeze and the dent where you
laid next to me.

on the third
day you sent
me a letter
from hell,
telling me
you liked the
view of the
from below.

I still sit in your Camry (now
busted in the backyard of your
stepfather’s house) and blow
smoke rings out the window.


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