Whatever Else Happens, I Have Found This

︎︎︎︎︎ Joe Milazzo
︎ Sept 9, 2023

The advice columns.
My horoscope, smelling
of dried flowers. A carpet
of crossword puzzles.

A hot little kitchen
inside my breast.

My friends’ faces,
wearing the winning cold
cream and a smear
of cocaine, staring at me
from billboards.

An airplane and
a Xanax and a Diet Mountain
Dew. Little black spiders
of Tylenol. A box of chocolates
on the doorstep of an apartment
bombarded by incense. Nauseous
honey. The corn chip I am not.

Detox. Rehab. A rec room’s
narrow circumference. A skull
waving at itself in a mirror, holding
a gun that fires fascination.
Siren confessions
in the gum rack
at the tabloids’ favorite 7-Eleven.

A reneged bookshelf fluttering
in the undergrowth. The slosh
of religious books inside me.

The river-breathing cherry orchard.
Waterfalls and starfish.
The sun I saw yesterday:
golden, white, pink, violet.

A merry-go-round again,
dizzying real slow.

An end to secrets
fanning their hormones.

A rag doll, running around the house
with a Duraflame log. A baseball bat
bursting into a Christmas tree.

Basket after basket, lap
after lap. A night cloud on
a silver heart chain. The special
freedom of complete loneliness.
A movie theme, dissolving
somewhere near F.A.O Schwarz.
How I offered myself
to the rhythm outside.

A multicolored X over every
object. My glory glitter end
on the swells of a jet-ski
stream. A picture of how small
I feel. My tardy half, biting a peach.
My shell of old white alibis.

A blue forehead,
bulimic as a goddess

Joe Milazzo is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie, two volumes of poetry—The Habiliments and Of All Places In This Place Of All Places—and several chapbooks (most recently, homeopathy for the singularity). His writings have appeared or will soon appear in Black Warrior Review, BOMB, FENCE, Prelude, Puerto del Sol, Tammy, Texas Review, and elsewhere. He is an Associate Editor for Southwest Review and the Founder/Editor-In-Chief of Surveyor Books. Joe lives and works in Dallas, Texas, and his virtual location is joe-milazzo.com.