Alex Rodriguez

I Set Her on Fire

Embers cackle in your ear
          And whisper deeper in mine
Reality twitches.
Air convulses.
Walls [of your skull] in our house vibrate
to comfort your teeth
chattering with jackhammer rhythm.
Liquid slithers to congregate at your feet.
          Fight or flight response,
          or flight from solidity of overcooked skin,
          only thing escaped
          is the boiling point of flesh,
          past my point

My beloved puddle,
looking glass puddle dirtied from underuse –
I want to distill this puddle,
          extract emotion that doesn’t burst
          skin with blisters that balloon,
and brush it back into caring eyes.

I’ve no choice.
Who chooses to converse with a bush?
Our desert,
My sign, 
          drifting, lamb-white cloud,
          drift through tar,
          drift through dream,
          drift through trachea,
          drift, drift in your lungs.
Your actions drag my thumb
from your lips to
drag my head along sidewalks
paved in phosphorus, dragging spark
to warm our bed – for a life time
‘til gasoline-driven death do we part


Your Own Way

two and a half children
four-bedroom mortgage
one trained dog, leashed
you are
living your dream-
like state[d], love country
Independent choices,

every four laps

          ***

You struggle with your head
held down against a car
by uniform and baton
commanding you-
rself conform

Slanderous denim patch,
       viewpoints crumpled in pocket-
sized brain[less mainstream]
washing government away
with cans of paint
fumes rotting your mind


Alex Rodriguez is a first-year student at Boston University, having moved from Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of multiple poems and engagements with poetry collections. His work has not appeared in any known publications.