Black Moriarty

︎︎︎ Ian Gwin

︎ JULY 5, 2022

What did you say about betting all your money
in Vegas, and winning? at the bowling alley
about place — a prison could make you change
a last name to a letter, a number? in a near-empty room
you didn't know you were unfamiliar with, about
ass you chased, time wasted, paintings, books, things
you care for, but can't get off your chest, part with?
What did you say in your black satin jacket
about the highest highs of the country, quiet
a city like this can only gloss, distract, remit?
What did you say after two weeks' notice
flashing a smile that could crack a safe about
a party you might have to miss, in that house
like a strobe light off I-5, exclusive to the hilt?
What did you say once before, when we met
by Ravenna Park's greenery, lush but trim
about your dream, your book, your secrets?
What did you say when we went by again
past a group of clones, crack of a pipe on a pole
down the Ave's exotic gods and abstract expressions
to your friend, who asked you before you could ever
know, what of this, here, will you miss most?

Ian Gwin
is a writer and translator from Seattle, Washington. He holds an MA in Scandinavian Languages and Literatures at the University of Washington. While he's currently translating the contemporary Latvian writer Andris Kuprišs, his own writing has been published in Drifting Sands, Kingfisher, and Mayfly Haiku.

Also by Ian: metsker’s maps