several shorts by Robert Beveridge










Carried the bag of cherry
candy until the handle
fell off. Slept in history
but never in math. Went
to movies only on opening
night, smuggled in popcorn
and a hot plate. Ran the mile
in 5:30. Organized the Lab
Rebellion after not procuring
enough boxers. Watched
Pretty Cure every Saturday
morning for twenty years.
Ate the last of your ice cream.








                            * * *






Dancing with Marmosets




Well and sundry the apricots, long

past ripe the avocados, yet
the dinner party seems a success.
You’ve proposed a partnership
to Vinny and Moose, gave up less
than half your planned concessions.
The oxtail is as succulent as your first
girlfriend’s thighs, the soup as musky
as what you quested for between. 
No one has yet whispered regards
from Angelo in your ear, but the night
is young, the cognac deceptive.
Your fingers tighten on your cane.







                                  * * *



Seven of Wands (reversed)




The latest battle
is finished. You sit,
exhausted, in a field
of cicada shells,
praying mantis heads
(all male), discarded
stinkbug armor.
Your front door
spattered yet unbreached.

It is only a few minutes,
however, before
the cockroach infantry
line up opposite you,
a corridor
in the center
for the platoons
of bedbugs
you see in the distance.

There’s no way
your last two cans of Raid
will arrest this manoeuvre.

You have two
matches left
and there’s a can
of kerosene
in the garage.