The best words are binder-clipable
by hyphen-daggers
able to blunt
corners and stain
teeth better than

remember winterhaven?
and joint-custody?
and slap-boxing?

forgetting the flashlight
.          the shed spiders
.                  crawling their fill of you
your smile then
.          was wit-lit
.                  smelling of fur
shuffling, you trip
.          back first
.                  into green, shamrock milk crates
you, web-acosted
.          you, treasureless
.                  you, cackling

shed where grandmother’s wedding dress
.          suctioned grass
.                  felt dew-dust
set needle to AWAKE.

ripping paper from place
and generally picking up yell



slept on roof over horns
just fingered
as a reminder…

“no, I’d prefer if
you not forget we share
asphalt and the need to
be somewhere early
together, we have to tolerate
the CPP
and breathe water the same”

.            if airhorn,
.                     then
.                            parade
the rug-comforter
not doing its duty

and then there was the 34 degree
the garbage rotting bravely
elbow backs
salt-peeled apart
Velcro-ed and skirty
delivering time

sachet sun
until rooftop
grapes and begs
two slim pardons

it is painful
cringing bursts



pantaloons’ flappery
and fish, hooking
noses from across the textile township,
good guts blade-flung
and struck a rich woman.
scoffing, she lobbed vowel-less
curses and spat fine saliva
a lady of class

this is trying to force
.          a dragon dream, or
waiting on a beer to warm.
but men still sleep
on top of red,
.          wet butcher blocks
while their children sling
.          bracelets from coathangers
.                  at a ladle of chum apiece.

This one has nubs
this is halite-crystal sharp

the day I read
a backward storm
evaporating boney cats
and gentle, rabid dogs,
flashes of dark-ning,
huge cracks of quiet.

you like anaphora? momentum?
trash carts that gather up homes,

If this reverse weather were a
poem, it would be a
sidewalk-fraught Datsun:
paintchips chewed for a
.             rainless fix.



the sandbar forms and slithers
across the middle of the river

this is ice-skating
over the Koh Kong Bridge
second-hand fresh-air lymphoma.

the mangroves still suck
noses of salt-sick Tupperware kayaks
and whatever else they need
to impossibly grow.

this is a little bit like
your liver getting up from the table,
belching and wandering
off with no money or ID.

the wind betrays the rice barge

mass and cheaply produced
harbingers of buzz

8 hours of bus-and-tumble
.            Black Panther lust
.                  the 3-dollar tuk-tuk fury

bathroom castle of soap
.            and slip
.     drains where they should not be
.            you there,
.                      help with this
.            the line-break fiasco

and then there is fried crab
. for dinner
and missing a friend

red-stranded clog of drain
and balancing one
foot in 2vm of skin-drippings
one ceiling-ed knee up,
an ant nibbles,
has its fill,
does not disturb you.



I could drink a little from your thighs
eat by wit-light only.

the outline of you
bed-sweet as a mango-tree
.                  graveyard
the tumbling rhythm spin-washed
extra-rinse set
.                  and buzzing, you…
giggle-crunched and grit-dug
taper of spine

we move from province to
.  province, paperless in this room.

lately, tiny things have usurped
.               large ones and
I have wanted them to.

if her head were a lead plate
.              we would chew from it
and laugh until it whirlpool-ed
.                     gone

what happens with the organs
.             after?
do they go the way of prayers and sand?

if there is any cold in her
it is what we drink

can it be gently poured
.  and remain the shape of its cup?

The earliness droving feet
hulling through water plunks
splinter of lily-scooped douse
stuck in chlorine-tongue

fruit fingers
a bit of gin-shook French,
ramblers, tuk-tuk head-shakers,
side-saddling moto-monks,
50 cents worth of beer and
shotgun-scatter rain pellets,

parsing addresses, too timid
for the street-food gamble…
.               machinist district and
.               the 22-dollar-lunch-for-two guffaw

we can’t seem to memorize the numbers of streets


Mason Gates

Mason Gates

Mason Gates is from Tucson, United States, and has a degree in geology from the University of Arizona. He lives in Porto.