from Junk
(published by Blunderbuss Magazine) 

I have this way of saying “bus” so that it rhymes with “moose”
when I want to be festive As in Gtg or I’m gonna miss my boose

I claw for reasons to live lol and find them Junk is anti-stasis
Ashes to atoms In the sense that Junk begs for a new use

Tangy harpsichord Crunching into a crisp pink lady The sherbet
swirls on these apples is maybe the most gorgeous color in

nature He wants to dip again and I want to go home, drink an
indica chamomile n slack like a boss It’s sad, not havin a 20’s

stamina but once I learned you can make someone cum three
times a night and he can still dump u I was like Welp Trapped

there, I don’t want to eat apples from the tree in the yard in the
neighborhood of that feeling anymore I like mood/lighting

and draw a bath in my brain The bubbles spread across my
knees like relief Do you hear cicadas? Crinkle cuts & queso

with bacon & jalapeño The movie starts n then a bump in the
internet connection We are now boarding rows 15 and higher

Best thing abt leaving town is the poem suddenly comes
differently—as if it needs a kind of obscurity in order to really

be seen Hindsight, for example Sight becomes a craft of memory
Memory—the fantasy that actually happened I believe in butter-

scotch candies and chocolate covered gummy bears from the
pic n mix at the Virgin Atlantic terminal in San Francisco Int’l

Sun smooched n sparkling famous band afternoon Unfurling
atop the grass Kalamata olive pot jolly ranchers n falafel balls

The sky in its gown of nostalgia For a minute we were in the
donut I mean moment Confessed a mutual love of scratching

the paint off things Melty like cheese like whipped cream Cake
batter double fried disco lights Bobbing like those inflatable

tube dudes Continually recycling excitement Feedback Fizzy
All I’ve ever wanted was to feel the heat with somebody But

mostly affairs r sort of short/intense like gas Worst thing abt
this famous artist cokehead cheating on his girlfriend w/me is

the shameful thrall Pitching a tent in this terrain Let’s talk abt
how Uranus tilted Abt how glass is neither solid nor liquid It’s

always moving The lake in the winter when the ppl traverse
the surface in spikey crampons Which is not a portmanteau So

obsessed with warm in the winter Warmth is the anomaly
Something that requires generation Engines in the stars In the

cores Seeking heat Most of the universe burns cold Not havin
a bf in so long I forgot how something as mundane as holding

hands makes a target of us You reach yr arm out to rest on my
shoulders and I pull away I’m not afraid of intimacy I’m scared

of assault I want 2 love in spite of the violence Black cat 9 lives
short days long nights livin on the edge not afraid to die Iraq

facing the possibility of total economic collapse on the back of
war and falling oil prices vs Australia’s avocado shortage One

food truck in Sydney has resorted to using frozen stuffs Gasp!
Café calamities It’s not even theatre Sympathies swell along

familiar lines Focus instead on dry skin and yr steadily expan-
ding waistline When I left yr house for the last time you said

“aw, now I’m sad” Grief is another way of making it all about
you How costume is yr grief? How girthy? How banshee?

Everyone wants to be loud and public and right Whose grief
can piss the farthest Is the poem distinct, or another kind of

feed I’m starving Hope for yr Junk Reinvention Innovation
Buttercream Words compound meaning all the time BEER ME

yells a man at the bar n suddenly to beer—converted to verb
Make a beer of me Like junk passing to garbage passing to ashes

passing to atoms Extinction wipes words from Earth The only
way to fight ISIS is to wipe them from the face of the Earth But

I’m from a group that others have tried to wipe from the face
of the Earth Had reasons like yours—savages, blood-thirsty,

inhuman—War doesn’t work Anything simple is a ruse Life
somehow earns its complications Never just the night in question

TOMMY “Teebs” PICO is author of the books IRLNature PoemJunk, and myriad keen tweets including, "sittin on the cock of the gay."  He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry, a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Poetry from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and won a 2018 Whiting Award. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. @heyteebs