Tex I. It smells like Texas right now. If you had a smell to you, I bet it would be Texas. I bet you would smell like a pool, all full of turquoise and light. I bet your hair sticks to your head like wet duck feathers when you come out of a pool. I bet it’s like when I duck outside to grab that pen I left under the pink porch light from when T— hit it with the red spraypaint can, and I smell a pool, even though there’s none to be found for miles. Is that you walking around in the dark? Full of owls and plastic flamingos? And a smell lonelier than that pool in Texas? II. Wet duck feathers. If I find you, Tex, it’ll be when the traffic lights jump at night—you know, when you are biking, just hurtling, and the light bounces like a fucking basketball, Tex, like a basketball. It bounces like you think maybe you’ve got a concussion. I once thought I had a concussion. From jumping off a bridge near the train yard. What do you smell when you hit the water? You smell black. I see red.
the birthday party dakota a name like staccato like the jazz drums bubbling beneath the surface like bacon fat bubbles bulging then ex ploding on fat forearms drumbeats right underneath your chair casting the mouth of life wide open and in the yawn you see plagues of ticks and horseflies//all the deflated animals you ever ran over the bloodshot eyes of every man who’s ever yelled at you in a bar but also the red convertible that lora’s dad took you for a ride in on her 10th birthday party in the graveyard across the street from their house and the green way the sun shone on the headstones how we kicked up the gravel in speedboat sprays what a creamy torium way//your mother flirted not so much with lora’s dad as with that car throwing her hands up and whooping like she was 16 racing the dead the whole way down.
The Assassins of Summer This summer is like the assassins. Hiding behind the paisley curtains, watching behind blinding black glasses. This summer has a face like a meat grinder, like someone took a tenderizer and pounded it into his face. This summer has a belly calcified by beer and oil, tight as a drum, a grubby white T-shirt that looks as if it’s been used as a rag, and strangely, the cleanest, stiffest khakis. What a strange assassin. How strange to be watched by a killer. They meet you at the pool, somewhere under the water, with ear radios and ties floating up past their heads. They’re standing between Neil and Anna as they make out, and they’re watching Jessi light her cigarette in the pool. They see the condensation beading on your soda can and touch their headsets knowingly. You can see them under your eyelids as you’re tanning and you know they’re coming for you. The longer you lay there and the more the sun takes from you, the closer they get, the more your flesh cooks. Maybe they’re sniping you all the time, and it’s a constant, never progressing death. Because there’s no foreboding. And this is certainly not living— Lucy Cahill is an illustration-loving, Roberto Bolaño–reading dreamer who can’t write a single poem without mentioning at least one color. She lives in Michigan, where she works as a curator’s assistant.