by Brian Billings
He woke at the first-grey minute, thinking waves were rolling high beyond dust-coated windows . . . until he remembered the slicing words, the cauterizing betrayal, the relentless RV ride into Lonestars and Miller Lites . . .
Hill Country claimed him; he racked
his boards like tombstones,
lock-parked in a planed rental lot
drier than Abilene in August
where orange afternoons peeled
Pacific blues from his Bermudas
in long welts of fade.
He wanted to call her (third time this year)
but feared he’d hear laughter in the line
drawn down by buffer-states and calumny,
fornicating Californian diction
wet and wild and deadly
in his windswept ears
like a beach-bum Iago.
Better, he decided, to take the iron scoop
from the rear compartment and slip
its edge among the kicked-wide pecans
rolled up to his white-walled wheels.
Five buckets filled fast, and then
he crushed the fattest nut
between his wisdoms,
spat the mess into his left palm, and thumb-rubbed muddy shell apart so tan meat lay wrinkled along his life-line, shooting the curl wicked hard like he never had managed but twice in all his ocean-time. He dropped the accusation, reaching for another chance.