Bucket List

A poem by David Spicer


White noise of dog barks lingered
as I nodded off that last day together
after you lectured on rosewood’s scarcity
in Iberia. Tall in waffle stompers,
you secreted me your agenda and recited
aphorisms from my latest, Ice Skaters
in Hot Weather, while cooking spätzle.
I loathed photos of myself, so you painted
my nails crabapple green and snapped six
8×10s of me cross-legged reading Crime
and Punishment. Then you fed us lasagna,
sushi, and onions with peas, and we
barfed, demanded pizza as the football
game spit out grunting collisions. You
asked me to whip your legs with a biker’s
belt so you could relive my tattooed
childhood, but the smell of mowed
grass prevented that skinny memory.
You dyed my hair silver, pissed, stroked
the calico cat Carmen. We’re the perfect
couple, you declared, wearing the yellow
sweater and Mickey Mouse wristwatch I
presented you, suggesting we flag a taxi
to the bookshop. Alright, but I need to drop
drops in my eyes and nose. Well, you’re
a high maintenance sweetie, aren’t you?
you said. No, I just can’t stand all this food.
I’d rather play rummy in that cave
we explored yesterday than check
off another box on your bucket list.


David Spicer has had poems published in Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The Laughing Dog, In Between Hangovers, The American Poetry Review, Easy Street, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Yellow Mama, and Dead Snakes, as well as in the anthology A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and two of Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net prizes. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks; and is the former editor of the poetry anthology series Raccoon, as well as Outlaw, and the publisher Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.

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