*

Maybe the man has to gut a fish. Maybe
that’s why he’s got a knife. If he likes
the heft of it in his hand, what’s that matter?

I mean, he’s got to eat.

*

Gilbert’s guy was talking to God as he gutted,
as he fried onions in hot olive oil,
tossed in peppers.

As a bird flew between him and the sun.

*

God being all buddy-buddy.

Gilbert petulant, a little bit
greedy.

*

Well, the big guy’s never
spoken to me. His kid showed up
once in the backyard at a crab boil
with Lineberger, but that was
a long time ago.

*

I’ve been drinking a gin infused
with cucumber and rose. A woman’s
drink if ever I’ve tasted one.

I crave a cigar.

*

The other thing is I’ll fight you
sonsabitches.

My trainer says I got no
defense but I won’t
stop coming.

Eventually you’ll get wore down
from punching my melon and then
we’ll see what’s what.

*

Inside of my body I carry
all the bodies of the awful
dead whose faces I can’t
shut out.

*

That’s a lie.

That’s a goddamn lie.

*