A Poem by Thomas John Nudi

I can only write poems in October

when shadows of mailboxes

trash yet to be collected

and family oaks point to each other


When Fall is hard on the acorns

beneath my feet, that split and crack

like the skulls of scrub anoles

mapping their suicide across my path.


Bodies with no patience

wait for something to pass

before running home

where roots are dying, roofs browning.


I can only hear steel guitars and

mandolins when Death spreads

across branches to seasonal aisles

in leftover Kmarts, in small towns.


I’ve heard everybody dies

in the Summer, but I’ve only known

birthdays, and weddings, and

mosquitoes overrun sprinklers.


I’ve known of Budweiser and

sand castles made from buckets,

Vitamin D from the sun. The lizards

continue to pass, no matter.


I only want whiskey when it doesn’t

rain, and I only want a cigarette

when the air bites, and I want

to write a poem.


This is a poem, but not

when the stars are out, it might be

but only when the dirt is cool, only

until I burn the tree.


I only want to write poems about

autumn, whiskey, and cigarettes—

things that die, and life spent.


Why Willow Trees Weep

Why Willow Trees Weep

From the Archives: Drunk Poems

From the Archives: Drunk Poems