Saturday, September 29, 2018


The surfside mayor’s lost his sandals.
He’s puzzling at his phone,
bloody thumbprints,
a fifth tequila shooter on the tab.
iPad an ashtray,
he’s lost password and PIN number,
the safe word for his role play.
Moving into secrets,
we don’t identify with death.
We learn the joke that is a lie.
The teasing mind registers no remorse,
rejects the first unhappiness,
denies that fetish is a second chance.

Taps on my bootheels
strike sparks on a red brick patio.
Goatee grown shaggy,
Buffalo Trace and amber ale seep
into hair and skin.
Licking stickiness from my fingers,
I admit, “Absolutely, this isn’t working.”
Across the grass, the black cat stalks the grey.
At the wheel of the newest Honda random,
I’m writing notes to end the world.
My corrupted Houston heart
centers on one statement:
Leave me to what ruinous song I write.

 R.T. Castleberry's work  has appeared in Roanoke Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Comstock Review, Green Mountains Review, The Alembic, Silk Road and Argestes. Internationally, it has been published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and Antarctica. My poetry has been featured in the anthologies: Travois-An Anthology of Texas Poetry, TimeSlice, The Weight of Addition, Anthem: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen and Blue Milk’s anthology, Dawn. My chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. An e-book, Dialogue and Appetite, was published by Right Hand Pointing in May, 2011.

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