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A Fine Cold

by Mark Wagner

Oboe goes back to Randolph Street, see—
Wolf Pit feature replete with a dead end road.
Through the invisible bone of memory
He drums himself up in A Fine Cold.

Long live revolution! Long live cheap talk.
Gun-love in space mask growls, “You’ll run,”
Then blasts him. He comes to next spring with cough,
Dread. Trig’s gone out for Camels again.

(She smoke in bed. She need to be bad.)
Oboe rolls over out of costume and whispers,
I’ve thought it through. I’m not gonna run.
Trig wearing nothing but bone and shoulder.

Over right one floats smoke, a bent finger.
She says she vacuumed out his mother,
But the errors of childhood are “attached.
Rough love and nausea’s your only way back there.”

Oboe plugs hole in side with matchheads.
Gotta have that looked at,   that and that
Cobra gripping my temples . . .

                        Outside a black
Plymouth carrying the best class of sweaters
In twenty years slides into a gas pump.
The stinkin mess explodes. Trig gets soft focus,
Like she’s gonna sing the fight song.
“Love ya for a nickel, for a quarter
Make ya mine . . .”
              Outside the best and brightest
Merchandize their burning in a cough drop line.
All is    I want    be yourself for me, Babe.
Oboe says prayers while Trig takes aim.

Later they’ll marry in a church for the blind.


Mark Wagner was accidentally released into the American Wilderness at age 18. (1992)

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AGNI Magazine :: published at Boston University ©2008 AGNI