For Fred Bailor
When I crush leaves under my boot soles
I don’t think of war.
Just you, drunk
throwing a dinosaur alarm clock
against my dorm room wall.
And the fried chicken
That kept death away
From both of our doors.
for David Snelbaker
You were the first real friend I made here
Telling me about your days with a Mexican religious cult
Where they tried to brainwash that man
right out of your hair.
You said, “They’d have to whitewash the streets with blood”
to make you feel clean again.
Love is what happens
When you’re on the run
against a bandaged window
like some kind of death rattle
a fresh wound or an open flower.
John Dorsey is the author of several collections of poetry, including “Teaching the Dead to Sing: The Outlaw’s Prayer” (Rose of Sharon Press, 2006), “Sodomy is a City in New Jersey” (American Mettle Books, 2010), “Leaves of Ass” (Unadorned Press, 2011). and, most recently, “Tombstone Factory” (Epic Rites Press, 2013). His work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org