Kevin Dublin is editor of Etched Press. He enjoys filming video adaptations of poetry
and working with younglings in the community. His words have most recently appeared
or forthcoming in Glint Literary Journal, Sunshine/Noir II, Gendered & Written: Forum on
Poetics, The Rumpus, and Tell Us a Story. He holds an MFA from San Diego State University.
How to Fall in Love in San Diego
Curled in bed, eyelids slide open
notice the cold losing to the light
on the window. A yellow chickadee
peeks from shrubbery. Then another
and another lands. They flit as if
they know I have never been so happy
watching condensation chip from glass.
It is better than an uptown night
after the Comedy Palace, after a loft
party found because I followed
two potential lovers onto the trolley,
after waking up between vintage thrift shops
in Hillcrest clutching a white album sleeve
with the record label scratched off.
This window, gently dissolving night's work,
is precious, though, I'm tired, though, I must pee.
I won't leave this spot. I won't go back to sleep.
This morning's arrival is slower than most.
I, in blue and white and grey striped pajamas
bought from Wal-Mart. You, hunched,
in some ugly green jacket buying them.
The green: the shade a first grader might color
ninja turtle poop: probably Michelangelo's.
It's hard to believe a moment ever existed
when I didn't love you. When I had opportunity
to admire you each morning and I didn't.
It's embarrassing that I was with you
so many times and wasn't with you—what a waste,
especially when I've had you to myself, especially
since in a dying Mexican lake without a river
or ocean there is a mole salamander that lives
its entire life without metamorphosis. I am no kin
to axolotl. Now subtle as yawn's transfer from crust
around my mouth to frostlessness on glass. I know
Iíll never need to wait for any other moment.
Not even for the latest iPhone, or gaming console, or
in any concert line: Phoenix, you begin when I arrive!
See it! The glass is clearing and clear and
the being has become more real than the body,
like cloud's shift allowing a slice of dawn's light
and hits where a leaf falls from avocado tree:
its weight tested by the air, hovering,
as I step from the bed, we are beautiful—
even as the world ashes and burns.
May we wake each morning and remember it.
Find the Source
Run backwards through the door you've entered,
cross the intersection, then glance both ways.
The crosswalk sign will switch to orange hand.
Reach into your khaki pocket
where a cell phone will lift into your grasp.
Let your clammy palm press it to your face then state,
og ut vuh ye ee-ross.
Gape at the blonde woman in red
stepping rearfirst from the café;
notice she's alluring, then notice her tears,
then last see her figure as a burly jerk barks,
oo-e-khuf, before she jostles into him and
disappears around a corner.
Four Letters Dependent on Circumstance & Time
How many poets have praised the moon?
Still, moon has no moonlit lover:
glow empties each morning alone:
no moonlit fool to moon.
Who will solve this problem?
The one with touch fickle like a yawn:
she's blue when I hear her voice
singing borrowed song:
"I'm So Tired of Being Alone"
inside this woman's mouth:
Over orange bitters and vermouth,
we splay meeting words:
You say you experiment,
but you're no scientist,
so I ask what
youíre doing through the week—
Who moves to Australia for a boy?
There's males here who massage so excellent
they get yelled at for making breath
all inhales with three letters and a glance
tied like slipknot. A man who will remember your
name as two fingers split, slid from left eye to chin.
Men who can write poems upside down
over spirits—including "g" and "s" despite
the difficulty of all words turned over,
drunk, like the call of lone nightjar,
he'll slip home through cracked door
forgotten as fingertip on light switch.
Find Someone Who Needs Saving
If at nineteen you lie awake at 3 a.m.
with a slumbering man you love, don't touch.
You've no idea what to do with the lean of this yearning.
Neither of youíve learned how to kindle fire yet:
What you envision would incinerate the apartment.
Instead, get dressed. Go outside for a smoke.
A neighbor strolling by will borrow your lighter.
Ask what she's done all night and why
she's come home alone. Pay her compliments:
For the fashion and drinks? Is that why you deserted heaven?
Later, let her shed her leather boots, hike her skirt up to her belt,
press her breasts onto your chest, and wrap her legs around you.
There's something chivalrous about suffering
through terrible sex with Mrs. Gin and Cigarettes.
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