Loyal Royal

Dezy Kosmo
Joseph Pennell (1857-1926)

I write a love poem on Royal
That actually says something about love

I write it not to pluck loose-lotto-scratch from athleisure pocket lint But to deliver all those years of pent-up afterbirth

We can put it up at the gallery you work at now
All Ostara pastels with an umbrella rack full of staves: Molasses dryads carved with wizened faces
that dangle beards of tasseled charms

We can put it up at the cafe you work at now The same cafe, but cluttered even further
with curiosities urchined seasons ago—
Bazaar mementos that none could bear caravan to Quartzsite come turning snowbird

We can put it on the fence round the other Washington Square across from the brutalist Geezer Palace
Where we’d snicker as a Belle Epoque carousel carted by before cackling at Mrs. Robinson’s stupid face

I hold up tear-smeared ink as you cross Frenchman Street one of your hands pinching milk crates in castanet-clacker the other clutching a tarot bundle to your chest

I hold up smeared ink—but not like I hawk—tearless—from my current Wash
where I’m gauzed to persona non verita through man-on-the-street spritz

And banish the three of you—conjoined in my heart— whenever I’m prompted:
“It’s for my...”

Even more so now that my lankador twin pray-told me the last straggler in Sally Baby’s coven
torched G.T. the Jester’s Belle Epoque carousel for turning born again stead of snowbird

Those rattling spokes were claves keeping time
of back when bottle-blues coated bitter-everythings in aspartame They chimed Bellwether of “Park’s Closed” at mid-day
even when slungshot from our ears by Rebels down on Chartres

But here’s what I recalled in the last letter I’ll never send you:

You too drunk to claw CheeWees from the tinfoil shop-vac
I too twacked for more than molar rumination and oral run- nings-on
Already a public ward:
nursing myself through each day sneaking hind-pocket nips and frosting my crystalline catarrh
gnawing through saturn rings of armor-all beans with a pa- rade-throw pocket knife
and plucking Hennessy holy-water from coolers left ajar by mad Y’atters—
Even after we began plunging into each other
spiders sigling my ass, bedsores of ground-floor twilight
But we’d free-fall past the ground-floor flood-plain
spelunking our way til we scrounged hardwood creases
clean of gradu
and came to

I try to remember the stoop where Chris got shot
To remember which cypress shrouded the bloodstain behind your bed on Lesseps
I try to remember this just in case you remember the boiler room labyrinth
where I hid from the linoleum stomps that beat the yellow out of chrysanthemum embossments
But I can’t
(You showed me                   but I can't)

Episodic had ended somewhere off Esplanade while I was caught in drifts of RV lab dyschronicity Another inflection point unmarked by abscesses hatched into bufotenin warts licked up by St. John

I thought I had entered the final flutter of an alma-tropane heat death
Exegesis gone to shit in sidewalk slammer dregs
We’d sprung our cataracts, dammed by the firehouse storm-drain by corners where we’d sauna in gutter-brewed Jenkim

that throttled any entropy we could choke down —
til we choked up                              —                                 for good

But G.T.’d go born again
baptized in his assless denim chaps.
And a Quad City Rainbow Kid’d torch his carriage
totem only more tinder cleared for some other sacrilege bringing up the rear

An effigy for the last River Rat summer
for that devil’s nest tangled-in from ionized trauma bonds— Our core-holes corroding into each other
before they put lights up down on the Moon Walk

All that background radiation strung to a twine-cross dandelion and swallowed in Old Algiers fog
Seeds shed a shambol
of mulched feathers

on the Pirate’s Steps, etched in flotsam girders
skeletal deep
No matter sorry facades

of grafted on concrete So say:                                                 “Now Stable”

Here, past the watershed at my bitter-everything-end


Dezy Kosmo

Dezy Kosmo (He/Him) is a writer, street poet, and a jack-of-all hallelujahing-bums. His work has been published in Terse. Journal, 12th Street Online, Infection House, and a smattering of local zines. He is currently based in Brooklyn, bringing a bit of Bublancha flair to the NYC literary scene.

Dezy's Articles on KGB LitMag