Dead Aunts, Convents, and Open Spaces

A poem by David Spicer


In our lemon-crème Packard
convertible, Dora and I smoked dope
to the memory of Aunt Mitzi—
not much, just a pinch to flutter appetites.
The prairie roads tormented us with dips,
a phobia of open spaces presiding
over feet that stomped to the rockabilly
beat of the stereo. Dora was my fourth
cousin, so incest never attacked my moral
balance when she suggested in the top-down
speeding wind, Eat my snatch, horny boy,
I’m not in the convent anymore. I didn’t,
even though Dora, a blue-eyed blonde charmer,
reddened after my refusal. I’m no checkers expert,
but I figured it was my move to a concrete
alternative. Let’s go see the cedars,
let’s follow this highway and scoop
up a little chow, maybe biscuits and jelly.
Dora wanted to go horseback riding.
You won’t regret it, she promised,
its joys are no myth. Let’s rent
a couple Appaloosas. She had a point:
we could no longer battle our grief,
but we could trade our rags for a costume
of brand new jeans and cowboy hats.
O.K., I said, ripping rubber on Highway 2
outside Revenge, North Dakota,
let’s stain this town with stoned graffiti.


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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