Poetry: red shoulderblades by Nat Myers

Nat Myer’s “red shoulderblades” begins with a motorcycle crash and ends in an image of friendship not often seen in popular culture. Filled with bloody cotton swabs, opioids, and alcohol, this hard-edged little poem relaxes in the dare to violence, the edge of loss.


red shoulderblades

johnny pecked at stevenson with a box of cotton swabs
he got hit by the pick up did a spin in the boone air
like a sangma dancer then skulked to the old women’s home
slept next door drunk on OC’s and muscle relaxers
before trying to stick his dick in the monte carlo’s gas cap
but now he is rolling a blunt in the middle of summer
there is wood grain in the air the garage door half jarred
with sunlight slanting in with less than half a heart
the grippo’s bbq chips in the blue bin tub we break water in
and take turkey baisters to squirt in each other’s mouths
when we fall asleep stone drunk after the shotgun makes us spin
johnny swabs stevenson’s back as he licks the bakka leaf
josh raps oxycodone in my veins johnny says god
damn stevenson I couldn’t find your bike in the ditch
over by orphanage Stevenson says take it easy on them swabs
mama needs some of those for her bed sores
your whole back’s a raspberry johnny said
yeah man you got a raspberry orchard
I let the mutt pick the fruit when it scabs up
instead of shitting all day in your shoes johnny said
yeah shitting all over the foot of my bed



Nat Myers

Nat Myers' poetry is concerned with young folks, mostly. He believes in death, love, and bbq. He lives and writes in Kentucky.

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