Ben Luton
from Pontchartrain… Or What Have I Done.

I assemble chickens in your dreams, dryer turning, my widow's walk, my figure eight.
The island stood up.

You let me go, even Mom is too dark to read.

Is this thing on?

Am I the emergency inside her on a peanut?

It's hard to have emotional resonances

and a jaw for sleep, the keel of my friends.

Katie please do not call me Dad. You will be another transformation in a mode of

Had to act politely mean to you while being a terrified barbarian.

If you live in a police state, you will need someone honest to punch in the face. Or a
hologram of flies. Walking when I meant peace,

edging gasoline.

Call the lesbians with a self-sufficiency that mocks disgust

even as it leads me to you and Sasha. She stole poppies in front of the Audubon sign,
grafted them to her own backyard, and at the end of the summer got high. She worked
in a porn shop in Elmwood, where I would later work as a social scientist and edit
several reports on the storm.

Promised I would never drink again. Began to drink for the first time. Into the bell's
curves. Naked.

I can feel the police close my eyes and stretch marks.

My tinnitus could be a memory or a necklace of genital hearts that yell in whispers and

which means I can't hear your heart beat in the room where my parents are crying on
the same day (but at different times). That night Jean-Paul and I ate turkey. He wrote a
song for me. Asked me to tweak the drum solo, with chorus and delay. But I wouldn't
put down your book. How is it that I am like you in terror of a man who mirrors
another man who smiled a lot.

God told me not to listen to you in front of the boom box,

just put on my headphones and watch.

You dragged your body across the carpet to reach me

in the mouth of a painter who lets everyone know I have never had alcohol.

[]Thought of a plane staring at a smaller plane. Pretension is often an assertion of
human dignity, or treads a fine line or a mask of gray zone. While Katie napped on my
lap I read on the bridge.

I've never danced. Inside me, bone shards from the cemetery.

Jean-Paul would eat a cockroach for a twenty. Tried to escape writing school where a
lot of transgendered people worked with puffy faces and sinking eyes, but you caught
and punished me. Had been walking toward the Press St. tracks, but you tapped on the
workshop window.

Comeback, come back.

Ben Luton is from New Orleans and resides in Providence. His writing has appeared in Lana Turner and The Broome Street Review.