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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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INHERITANCE

there’s a big white scratch on side 2
on my copy of “yesterday’s wine”
it’s shaped like a snake
but it makes a circle when I play it

Grandma died first.
Grandpa played this record on a loop
hearing it still makes my mother weep

thinking of him
hours in his room
Red wine and cigarettes and  red wine again,
thinking of her,
a man reduced.

I get to this scratch
halfway through “December”

“i remember a spring
such a tender thing
tender theen
tender theen
ender theen
ender theen”

I knock the turntable with a closed fist
and the world starts spinning again

 

—Kevin Coons

 

WHISKEY DICK

in an crowded hostel in Mendoza
she said she liked my boots
and introduced herself
Alexandra
a French girl speaking Spanish,
traveling alone,
flipping through brochures of wineries
¿ debemos compartir un taxi?

I wandered if she had ever dreamed of me before we met,
I had certainly dreamed of her,
or the idea of her
before I ever left California.

I was so thirsty back then.
Dying to watch the world undress.
Maxing out a credit card.
Busing through South America.
To her.

Alexandra and I,
fresh buds breaking,
kissed by dew,
we drank Malbec and Tempranillo

In her room at night
We read out loud from Neruda
she guided my hand across her hip
voyaging over her stomach
and placed it on her left breast

 

I kissed her bare shoulder blade
and she whispered in my own grotesque language:
“Fuck me cowboy.”

Only I’m not a cowboy
and I didn’t fuck her.

In the bathroom mirror
Limp head in hand
I never hated myself more,
blacking out the taste of vomit with instant coffee
I walked out of the hostel in the middle of the night
Dragged a suitcase that was way too heavy
A couple of blocks to the station.
As the bus pulled away,
I looked back at Mendoza

Alexandra,
or the memory of her,
Was already starting to get sweet

As I pictured and framed her:
Naked as the fruit on the vine

 

—Kevin Coons