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Late Last Week

On the eighth day, machine guns.
The ninth: trenches, barbed wire, flasks
secured to our green helmets.
What I’m saying is God quit two days
ago & now what?
What I’m saying is the trees shaped like sharp poles
will always look that way. The sun,
halfway between a cloud & another cloud,
will eventually pick a cloud.
After, it will pick another cloud & then what?
Who could possibly look at a volcano
& not think lava lamp?
I could eat a bread bowl every meal
& still feel empty.
See, I have measured monogamy.
I have published the results
inside the pillowcase on my bed.
It was so thick there was no room for my pillow.
It was so thick there was no room for a bed,
so we each traveled the Garden.
The Garden was so big we lost each other for weeks.
Later, I found her nose halfway up an apple tree.
Maybe she was trying to reach every crater
on the moon.
I would like to reach every crater on the moon,
take a nap & then start over.
What I’m saying is every argument
should’ve ended late last week.


Book Release

On the seventh day I drink everything iced.
God says Reasonable.
It’s so hot I am sticking to every cow
I ride around Eden.

I wander around my computer,
sit in an egg colored chair.

I birth lobotomy.
I birth hips.
I birth boredom, concession stands,
I birth sunburn.
I birth electric toothbrushes.
I birth misery.
I birth a book with numbered women
doing things to my heart & everything
above & below it.

I tell her I am writing to remember.
I am writing to remember how lucky
I am to tell her I am writing to never
remember again.

I birth bombs.
I birth politicians.
I birth regret.
I birth custodians.


Carbs: An Essay

The egg I came from was so big & full of yellow.
My pockets were full of Valium. My pockets’ pockets
were full Valium & my Valium’s pockets were full
of Xanax. Such heavy hearts, such forever thinking.

It is hard understanding life.

Coo coo coo goes something that coos.

These days I never wonder aloud Where did all the giant sloths go?
I know where they went: Heaven, obviously.

Poor sloths & their discontinued spines.
Poor elephants, you are pregnant for so long.

I’m sorry.


Lately I have wanted to tear the world apart,
tell my lover We will live quietly in a corner.

I’m exhausted & dirty as hell
& I’m not even talking about my cock.

Put hip-hop on the back of my neck.
Put my neck on the front of her neck.

Everything makes me feel old.

Abraham turns his iPod up, doesn’t hear God
say Drop the axe.

Jesus isn’t eating, He’s dieting for Salvation.

Maybe nobody is hungry & that’s why two fish
feed thousands.

I am a carb man myself.


Never Have I Ever

Never have I ever walked into a room feeling brave. I drink flower water and bloom the sun. Dehydration sets in, which brings night, which brings frogs, which hop towards the lights above apartment doors. If Hell exists, I don’t want to know God. Never have I ever not missed K. In every poem I have yet to write I am hoping she shows up with a glass of flower water, two hearts saying mush mush mush. It’s too hot to see our breath but we’re still alive, so we know it’s there. My lemonade stand is open even in winter. Sugar teeth I tell her. Come home and spoil me. Sometimes a song makes me want to surf and I’m like Stop that right this instant. Atlantis sank and that’s weird. Venice is sinking but I’m too worried about my receding gums to care. The levees broke, people were like Help us, help us! Days and days and then some help. Never have I ever been rich. I am scared of needles shaped as needles. I am scared of needles shaped as anything that turns into a needle. When did blood get a bad wrap? It is why I am touching K on a nightly and a morning and sometimes a mid-morning basis. Lately I have been thinking about sitting under a linden tree. Lately I have been thinking about the age of trees and the age of romance and the strength of K’s thighs wrapped around mine when there is nothing keeping us apart but our own sweat. Lately I have understood how they all mean the same thing.


Village Poem

K and I marry on a bench at a bus stop in a village that hasn’t been discovered yet. During our vows K promises all the shipwrecks in the world. She promises an inch is still an in inch and we’ll never get metric. She promises domestication, sharing a shopping cart at the grocery store. It’s romantic, watching K’s white dress turn clear and the bench at a bus stop in a village that hasn’t been discovered yet turn into an air mattress. After, I pretend to be in a spaceship through most of the afternoon. After, a song goes But everyone is just everyone.  


Gregory Sherl is the author of Heavy Petting (YesYes Books, 2011), The Oregon Trail is the Oregon Trail (Mud Luscious Press, 2012), the chapbook Last Night Was Worth Talking About (NAP, 2012), and Monogamy Songs (Future Tense Books, 2012). His poetry has appeared in Gargoyle, Anti-, Sixth Finch, Sycamore Review, and PANK.