Michael Dwayne Smith proudly owns and operates one of the English-speaking world’s most unusual names. His poems and stories appear in BLIP Magazine, Right Hand Pointing, Phantom Kangaroo, and other convenient locations. He lives in a desert town with his wife, son, and many rescued animals—all of whom talk in their sleep. He can be conjured using the spell “firstname.lastname@example.org”
It’s amateur night at the Headless Horseman.
Gypsies and Indians careen to the floor,
bone-yard pairs in marigold,
and drunk, beat and hooting, their
lifting in the yellow light
the warp-wood platform, as next door
novena’s million candles
flicker in the weary apse
of Our Lady of Infinite Sadness.
the haggard band will disappear,
hoarse notes and dead-lover lyrics
into a creased
speeding and jostling across
the pitch-bleak desert bed,
tossing bottles of beer
that flit like rabbits in the road.
But for now the room is jump and smoke
Julio and Nadine are back
together, Sal buys Jack
a whiskey, making up for last Thursday’s
Henry sputters near the juke,
the flick of his tongue feeling like wet
carpet in his mouth,
while Jo Maria, dark and frowning as always,
all the attention in the world by paying
no attention to him at all.
How everyone needs
one another. How everyone
wants not to. How beautiful strange when
all our skeletons gather,
out here where coyote winds dog
the mid-June night,
while a distant wind-chime jitters,
from the angry air.