That Eternal Farm Upstate Where All Our Dead Pets Live (and more...)

Lack of Coordination

The problem is one of coordination,

as in who gets to wear black, who

will carry the scythe? Keep some time

open on your calendar for a revolution,

also, you need an oil change. Whatever

happens next is up to whoever can run

the fastest or convince the bear to eat

someone else. Let’s make a list

of everything that isn’t our fault. Start

with our birth. That’s also the end. Don’t

let’s be average. At very least, remember

that no one gets out of this alive. Except,

probably, some rich guy at some point.

You will never be rich, but that doesn’t

mean you can’t taste their hearts.

That Eternal Farm Upstate Where All Our Dead Pets Live

There’s no reason to be ashamed if you break

down at odd hours, remembering the lives

you set aside in order to sulk in the dark.

It wasn’t your fault.

The great fingerprint in the sky put its dirty

digit on your brain and shorted out the wiring.

You did the best you could to see past

the electric ants whose bellies never get full.

Who the hell doesn’t wish they could redo

some days? Accountants never get into heaven.

At least there’s still a market for the robe makers.

Someone in a funny hat, with a funny smile,

someone who hasn’t worked a hard day in their

not-hard lives. There’s no hand to take your coins,

but what you wouldn’t give to run

your fingers through that winter day’s soft fur

one more time.

Fool Me Sixty-Seven Times, Shame On Me

I woke up, and one of us was dead. You

swear you didn’t do it, but I can see the knife

sticking out from under your pillow dripping

blood. “It’s inconsiderate, is all,” I say. “It’s

not that I’m mad; I’m disappointed.” But you

never cared about my feelings when they were

inconvenient. A sullen breakfast. Dishes

in the machine. I clean the counters, waiting

for an apology that’s never coming. You

hop on your phone to play with strangers.

“I guess I’ll clean up the bloodstains,” I

say. You mumble something. “What did

you say?” I ask. “It’s your blood,” you

say. I Google Best Way To Get Blood Stains

Out and run to the store for supplies. When

I get back, you’re asleep on the couch. I slam

the bag down on the table, and you stir.

“All of them stared at me like I was

the living dead,” I say. “Would you really

call yourself living?” You say. I don’t know

where I went wrong. I just wanted someone

to love. I guess it’s too much to hope for

reciprocation. I scrub the pillowcases, sheets,

carpet. I mop the trail and realize I’ve left

a new one everywhere I’ve gone. Back

in the living room, your keys are gone. No

note. You don’t answer my texts. When

you come back, hours later. I’ve prepared

a speech on mutual respect I’ll never give.

I make dinner. I’ve staunched the blood

well enough. You tell me about the adventures

you’ve had without me. I nod and smile.

It’s my own fault, really.

About the Author

Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of thirty books, including his newest poetry collection, The Bottle Episode, and his latest novel The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue: Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.