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.