Three poems

Posted on March 6, 2009


By Brandi Wells


He won’t let me touch him. On the back of his leg there is a tattoo of a geisha’s head cut off, blood spilling from the base of her neck, there to remind him. I rest my head on his knee. The girl he trusted that cheated on him. Calypso. He runs his finger along one of my eyebrows. It feels rough. I tell him I cheated once. Kissed the wrong guy. He pulls his earring out and rubs it against the skin below his nostrils. He wears a solid black shirt and red striped boxers. There’s a wet stain to the left of his crotch. The button on his boxers is undone. He smells my hair. Drinks a twelve pack of Newcastle. Leaves the empty bottles on the counter tops. Beer caps on the kitchen floor.


We walk drunk down the sidewalk, holding hands. His hand, as short as mine, but twice as thick. Thick. Both our nails, jagged down. The cuticles are torn and there are little scabs beside our nails. There are thick calluses between his thumb and pointer finger, where he gnaws the skin. I pop my knuckles. His legs are short. He sews the inseam of his pants with dental floss so they won’t be too loose. There is a dimple on the left side of his face. I can see on the right side where a dimple ought to be. There is almost a dimple there. It’s dark outside the Huddle House and I stop to look at a stray cat in the bushes. We go inside and stand at the register. He orders a patty melt with onions and double fries. The Huddle House is full of people. Couples and groups packed into booths and sitting at the bar. Why do we walk out immediately after he pays, without the food? We argue in the parking lot. We hold hands, and our arms stretch out so that he’s nearly toppling into the road and I’m trying not to fall down into the ditch. Then stands on my front porch, spitting the last of his sunflower seeds onto the sidewalk.

Making the hole bigger

Stretch marks on his stomach that spill over tight fitting jeans. Girls he’s known for years. A drunk girl. Her limp blonde hair. I pinch the loose skin above his belt. His torso is blown up and too wide for his body. I imagine he used to roll over and pick up the phone. His nipples are pierced. Dull pink. A lady bug between them. Stars on his chest. His sleeves are cut off. Thick round shoulders. Arms with bright colored ink. Skulls, roses, heroin needles spilling brown muck into his armpit. Girls that already have boyfriends. The girl he calls “amazing.” He moves the sheets and pulls me back against his chest so our skin sticks together. The phone always rings in the middle of the night. His foot catches the rip in my sheets and makes the hole bigger. They used to talk.


Brandi Wells has poems in The Foliate Oak, Apocryphal Text, Slab, Blaze Vox and other journals. She sometimes blogs here.

Posted in: Poetry