Red Shuttleworth

Back and Forth

Is it forbidden to say,
She's knocked-up?
Guileless, the children
of the one-room knobby school
sing, You must allow for the bond
for she's a pretty blonde.


And tonight no one
minds the grocery store
as children pick
the back door lock:
Gummy Worms…
creaky hinges to the upstairs
room where unbidden
kisses are received.


The preacher says,
The nails from Christ's cross
burn acid-hot in our hearts.

And the slim first row boy
blushes at the girl
across the purple aisle
from one more sweet dose
of psychobilly love.

Reaching Conclusions

She was in a familiar red shroud
and her wild hair was black and blacker.
Distress signal? A seduction?
Why don't you write more
about yourself?
she asked.
She asked the boy what magic
the skin of his hand contained.
They sat on her bed of hides,
drank tequila real slow.
He said, We're gonna have us
a real big time, you betcha.

Tequila ran low. She told him
he had no fortune to tell.

Later the boy was happy
to find a new girl with a voice
constant as a dial tone.
Then he found a girl
at the airport with no luggage
and crystalline gold eyes.
The abyss, he said, is far more
about romance than sex.

He turned up in spring
on the sands of Galveston,
arrow-shot below
a haze of hummingbirds.