A&W Orange and Brown by Matthew Milia

You taste like A&W
Orange and brown
Draw through your straw
Wash it all down
The strange age
The gas gauge
The rash upon my ribcage

But you'd never leave me in the lurch
Or deceive me when the search
For the morning
Gets boring
Mechanically scorning

Twenty-thousand broken tunes
A galaxy of afternoons
Birthdays of November ruins
Are soon to be my vehicle 

I'll be dozing in the divorced dads'
Devastated bachelor pads
It subtracts and then it adds
But all in all it's a miracle they do

That's when
I go where the college kids loiter
Just hang out and reconnoiter
The umbrage
The language
With each dumb pang of anguish

I think about how I spent my year
In a twin bed with young skin near
So blindly
Remind me
How you snuck that knife behind me

Some nights it's achingly ample
Some nights it's just a sample
Stamp a little dimple in the
Simple love you think is yours

But who's in your camp when the world darkens?
Dampening with snarking grins
The parking situation thins
When unwieldy eras lock their doors

But you know
I got a lot for you
But it'll never do
Oh, unless
Well, nevertheless

You go
Do what you gotta do
If you're not so true
I guess A&W
Is fading too

We'd walk through the town in an endless loop
In the rapidly melting ice cream soup
That stuck us together
In Frontier Ruckus weather

But ain't it precious?
The freshest scrape?
I faced rewind and erased the tape
And I saw
It all go
But I still hear the audio

Our sitcom plot line's terrible
It rots on the vine like a parable
Written by the veritable human punchline
You now kiss

I'll be driving around the Silverdomes
With the student drivers and mobile homes
The worst survivors of all my poems
Would never treat someone like this

I bet
Your makeup's indelibly smeared on that towel
I once feared it was permanently on me as well
Like the cinder
From that winter
And the slush along Dequindre

The ride that we got from the mechanic shop
From the Persian woman in the Mercedes drop-top
Her marriage
Miscarriage
We thought her stories bonded us in awareness

That nothing like that could happen to us
We were two of the luckiest
Bastards in the mastered art of
Barely ever giving a fuck

But in the end one fuck got gave
Two, if you count our literal behavior
The root beer, dear
Will you please save
A drop for me as you cutely suck?

'Cause you know
I had a lot for you
But it'll never do
Oh, unless
Well, nevertheless

You go
Do what you gotta do
If you're not so true
I guess A&W
Orange and brown are through
It'll be just like we never knew

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Little Henrietta by Matthew Milia

Little Henrietta
From the discount hair salon
I invented you to come undo
The torture I've been thrust upon

I'm a rolling pin
A half-deflated soccer ball
Left to brittle in the yard
In the spittle of the broken fall

I'm the scared aggression
Of a little dusk dog's bark
Middling and piddling
In the safety of the dark

Pontiac's been tainted
Rochester is done
Chipped toenails are painted
By the blacked-out friend that was
The carsick sun

But little Henrietta's from the same township as me
So natively she knows about
The coughing memory
Now everything I see is full of

Coffee
And the lofty little
Hope of love
Every day for you my
Lovely little one
Scratch your back and never slack
Or back away from our first day of profuse dripping sun
Darling

Some chipped-tooth baby doll I had
Stung me like that day
That I rode my bike into a wasp
Then Pizza Hut to wash away

All that stinging cruelty
You'll understand, I pray
The future is a creature that
Can only hope to lick the love
Its tongue tastes of today

But little Henrietta and the pillows on her bed
Where really we just kill
The memory that won't stay dead
With a tendency for spilling silly

Coffee
And the lofty little
Hope of love
Every day for you my
Lovely little one
There are three blades in my back
But two of them are yours to track
And see where they've begun
Darling

Little Henrietta

I have had three wives
You're my only ghost
The organs I have lost control of
The roll of film I can't dispose of

How your memory survives
Like communion host
Or floating with the burnt toast
That was coasting in my grandpa's daily

Coffee
And the lofty little
Hope of love
Every day for you my
Lovely little one

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Down In the Morning We Thought We'd Never Lose by Matthew Milia

Down in the morning we thought we'd never lose
I saw everything
It startled me
I briefly knew what you were gonna do

I sprinted that night all the way to the bar
'Cause I smelled danger all around our little star
The galaxy
Was blacker than the one I thought we knew

At the jukebox I stared across
At the display
You were putting on
I thought I'd gone to hell that day
Who were you when you were laughing
In that horrid way?
Next to him
What made it dim, our special day?
When we were

Down in the morning we thought we'd never lose
Drowned in your fried eggs
Half-asleep
I'd sweep the glory of your unshaved legs

I wonder where the moments go when they die?
The quotient's too imbalanced to ever truly fly
And that is why
They eventually just settle down to dregs

But on that day
The squirrel dragged its way across
The bike trail where we did fail
To save its loss
Maimed and lame is what we became
In the coin toss
All the same, nobody came
To claim the dross
It's piling

Down in the morning we thought we'd never lose
Where I'm still sleeping in
It's a lazy sin
Please don't wake me when you go to work

When I came to
The thought of you
Fiercely pierced my
Bothered skin
Grandfathered in
To fence the present tense
Inside a murk

I can't bear to think of where
The moments go
The underwear peels and reveals
A layer so slow
Do I dare to think of there
That others now know?
The pubic hair and cubic square
Of every strand of banded glow

Down in the morning we thought we'd never lose

On your sister's pull-out couch
Where you heard me vouch
For the existence of what's inside
It was true
Until it died
But what killed it?
You willed it

And I woke up

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Darling Anonymity by Matthew Milia

I no longer know your name
But I can't forget every single time you came around
Every time you came around for me
You came down on me so hard

I will never be the same
April spits a frigid flame
Of boiling memory
The neighborhood for me
Is black and perfuming
Lilacs fracturing in the yard

Now you don't mean shit to me
It isn't how it should be
Darling
But I didn't refuse you
No, I didn't choose to
Stick my nose in every single opening that's powdering

But the place where the ice glare
Tasted the sharp air
Of the open water on the lake
As it breaks
Oh the spring night
Oh the sting might wake me up to see
Your initials on the sacrificial version
Of me

Darling anonymity
You're planning alarming schemes
It's startling when you teethe on the cartilage
Of my ear and knee

What's the last thing that you said?
Will somebody find you dead
Inside my TV screen?
Grassier and green
The smell of gasoline
The summer's perfume keen
And so dense

I am always panting for
The smell decanting on your floor
The kidney and the spleen
The bladder filtered clean
The purity I mean
The prettiness
The preen
You, in a sense

Now you don't mean shit to me
It isn't how it should be
Darling
But I didn't refuse you
No, I didn't choose to
Stick my nose in every single opening that's blossoming

But that place where the ice glare
Tasted the sharp air
Of the open water on the lake
As it breaks
Oh the spring night
Oh the sting might wake me up to see
Your initials on the sacrificial version
Of me

Darling anonymity
You're planning alarming schemes
It's startling when you teethe on the cartilage
Of my ear and knee
It's harming the summers I have left
It's squirming
It's making such a mess
My heart is at the broken Dairy Queen
Where our kiss is melting with the rest

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Crabapples in the Century's Storm by Matthew Milia

You say that you've forgotten
But I know that you're rotten in your sweet little way

Like the crabapples
Themselves like ornaments
Fermented in the suspense
Of their sweet decay

Drinking Shell station wine beneath the Sylvan Lake willow
My prophesied Rebecca on my bike trail and pillow
I still see your cheeks so red in Pontiac summer
The pulverized sidewalk and the racing and the stupor
Or in danger, and the kids using a milk jug for a basketball
I'd risk it all to ask it all, to bask the fall again in splendor

Tracing your rotten spine

Oh, but when you hair was still long
Everything a new song and the heater and the theater
Soiled tights and the nights
Where we touched in standing darkness
The odor was magnetic and we wore it like a harness

My memory is freezing in your dead night winter attic
Evacuated all except for the electric static
Of our bodies sparking on the carpet and the mattress
Something made a tar pit out of what was once a fortress

Who can really say?
Maybe I took that for granted
But somehow my lips never left
Where the back of your neck slanted

Oh, my little wastrel
My sweet lost friend
My piss is in the tendrils
Of your rented house ivy
That ensnares the end
Suspended there 

Like the crabapples
Themselves like ornaments
That's what you said one morning
Looking out the back window of my parents'

Weren't some mornings so fine?

There inside that book I gave you
Maybe there's a line you wrote to remind you or to save you

Pretty "bois" sell shitty ploys
But mark down all they're telling
Catchphrases that vaporize
Within ironic spelling

But now the crabapples are in the century's storm
The World Series is over
And the world's collapsing in its form

I think of all those young names that day on the stones we read
Then cold Arizona Iced Tea when the cemetery scorched us red

Now I am blind to your weekends
The snorting kind of your new friends
But there's a lot where Washtenaw ends that you might recall

I know the way your body bends
In the parked van where still impends
The smoking frozen moment and
The cataclysm of it all

And I know your girlhood diary pens
I read it back to you with tenderness
Inside that summer bed
Across your mother's hall

Did I die inside the cleanse
Of blinding-sun Lake Huron lens
Where we were perfect?—that depends
It's all just sand and squall

Do you still hum when night descends?
I thought it was your calmness then
But it's your motor panicking
With the animals trapped in your wall

All the boys that you fucked over
Eventually got out of Ann Arbor
Honey, how come you're still stuck behind
The counter?

The streets we used to take
The cracking of the lake
I'll never get that final point
You were barely even trying to make

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Very Well by Matthew Milia

Burning smell of black-dyed hair
Bathroom bit by winter air
You shit-talk your old lovers
What's left 'neath your cold covers?
Your father's shaky tacit holds
Ankles strangled in the folds
The fitted sheet at the feet of spring
Come see me when you can't sing
Any longer as things go
Mouth all full of filthy snow

And you wouldn't know
But I still can't believe
And that smell
The burning hell
Of the tress
And what can I tell
You but yes?
And very well

I wake up to a joke so deep
Laugh myself right back to sleep
Walk along the thawing shore
That's pawing at my young drugstore
Where last I saw your baby teeth
Glinting as I fell beneath

And you wouldn't know
But I still can't believe
And that smell
The stinging swell
Of the day
Has shown me the way
And what can I say
But very well?

And you wouldn't know
But I still can't believe
About that smell
The way it fell
Indelibly spry
And how am I?
Can't you tell?
I'm very well

I'm very well

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Sad Modernity by Matthew Milia

Summer, 2007
Drunk at the wedding
Of my former enemy

Those days
I was still stuck in my young ways
Back when the fresh-faced girls
Were still a friend to me

The theme song
To this sitcom
Don't have shit on
Our greatest episode

I still think back to
All that shrink-wrap you
Placed around your heart
As it overflowed

But who knows where we are?
Now that my first car
Houses nothing but the stuffing
Of the pain of mundane joyful suffering

Sad modernity
Had its turn with me
Baby, did it have its turn with you?

You moved out to Seattle
You won the raffle
At work for the waterpark

You drove me across
The country black with loss
But something in the dark
Well, we made it spark

But who knows where we are?
Now that my first car
Spun itself into the median
On I-75 this evening

Sad modernity
Had its turn with me
Baby, did it have its turn with you?

My mom's there
Selling menswear
In the lens flare
Of some little memory

Summer, 2027
Drunk at the wedding
Of my newest enemy

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Bathroom Stall Hypnosis by Matthew Milia

How does one little girl
Manufacture so much gall?
Your little body's swelling with it all
You're gonna need a bigger room
You're gonna need some strong perfume
To keep those boys interested enough to call

Being young is no excuse, friend
When you're old enough to flush that loose end
After you cut those lines in the bathroom stall

Is your microphone malfunctioning?
Or is it finally broken?
Mine's so loud it's ringing in your wall

So when you look at a photo of us in our prime
How do you not fall apart each time
You think of me?
Or do you not think of me
Very readily?

Bathroom stall hypnosis, doll
Kicks in when that latch closes
Although I'm told the snow gets cold
Through disillusioned noses
And when no one's bearing witness
Will you still be the princess
Of the bathroom stall?
That's all I wanna know

How does one little girl
Pull the wool constantly?
The dry cleaners ain't 24-hours, you see

It's ok to take a break
It's ok not to fake
To be that girl I thought I knew you to be

You tricked that kid in the bar smoke
Into thinking he was in on our joke
Well, he don't know the pattern
Now, does he?

Vitriol is poison
I'm just trying to get some noise in
Before you turn the power out on me

So when you think of our feet in the sweet hurried flight
How do you fall asleep each night
You think of me?
Or do you not think of me
Voluntarily?

Bathroom stall hypnosis, doll
Kicks in when that latch closes
Although I'm told the snow gets cold
Through disillusioned noses
And when no one's bearing witness
Will you beg for forgiveness
In the bathroom stall?
That's all I wanna know

How does one little girl?

Don't call me from bathroom stalls when
The heavy nightmare falls in
I can't help you now, I'm quite afraid

Well, I know that nightmare
Yeah, I've been living there
Since some little girl
How does one little girl
Make me feel so goddamn
Betrayed?

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

The Splendid World by Matthew Milia

This year's robin's breast is not as red
The entire nest is underfed
Every bed I've made has broken down

The AA meeting is letting out
From the parking lot where my mother let me try out
Driving my grandfather's car when I was just fourteen

If the splendid world wants to end and rid us
I wish it'd just get on with it and forbid us
I can't keep track of what I own

My brightest day was poisonous but agile
And then you decay in a way so fragile
In the sticky shade with an ice cream cone

Whatever happened to the little sailboat
We kept behind the shed but only once made float?
I used to climb upon it onto the roof

And now the earwigs climb the trashcan
I figure I'll become a sort of watery man
Pissing in my night backyard
Distributing the proof

You can keep a record of all your meals
And the way that each day feels
Safe and well-preserved in some hidden cavity

But all your private and precious locales
All your hidden heavens and all your pals
Are gonna succumb to the brutal gravity
Baby I know

The splendid world is immune to flattery
It burst me on the sidewalk like a run-over battery
All my metallic innards come pooling out

To try to name this is to be less famous
If I were dumber and detestable I'd be more successful
But on the sharp scorched grass
There's nothing else to sing about

Appears on Sitcom Afterlife

Careening Catalog Immemorial by Matthew Milia

There's a white limousine with Massachusetts plates
And on the loose its occupants, those 90s prom dates
Careen

I tongue at my molar, you're my only consoler    
You're my midnight buyer in the back of the Meijer
Yeah

My world's a comprehensive private diorama
Unpunctuated by any comma
You got

I was a queer balladeer, so proud of our new minivan
You know your dad gave all he had
He does his best for you just when he can

Greenfield Village and a field trip version
Of young faces on every person
I knew

Now all the modern dilettantes
They typed out their privileged isms
In their moronic fonts
And hyped-out syllogisms

With some get-well cards from my date-stamp aunt
Yeah, I'd frame all that minor fame, but I just can't

When my best friend Doug's brother had some flashy two-seater
All the sleepover soda when we explode a splashy two-liter

The stoplights are cherry red, or very greenish blue
Like the mushy color of the 7-Eleven slushy hue

And the liquid wicked warping
Of an ambling ambulance's distancing pitch
I hooked my thumb through your belt loop
From which I hitched to every twitch
You made

What we found stashed in the trashed-out woods
Behind the Taco Bell
Is why I identify
Early sex with the oily smell

Of WD-40
And a blindness to the ways
Of the kindness behind us
Andthe lukewarm heat lamp buffets

Now we report all our pathos to the food court police
Where the pity and the loss grow so shitty and obese
And sad

But in Baker's frozen woodlot
With the smiling sniffling good snot
You tried to wipe away but you could not
When the sun's explosion
And slow plummet
Can look so frozen
As we glow from it

All our disastrous love
It goes by many titles
It froze inside the snows where I'd
Dropped it with its broken vitals

But I remember your sorrow outside of Espresso
With all you wanted to borrow, and all I said was "I guess so"

And I wish I had
Just granted you that

Appears on Eternity of Dimming

Open It Up by Matthew Milia

Hard-hopin' 
I can open
It up

Heartbroken
And soft-spoken
Ain't we all grown up now?

Mary-Lynn, when you call to me
There is little I can do
And you want to bring it all to me
Well, you know, I'd want you to

But seeing as there is no place
Seeing as there is no trace
I do not know if I can taste it
Anymore

Now I rub each tear duct with my hands
When someone's foreign bathtub product brands
Stung my heart and plucked my glands
Because it understands the smell
You wore

That's when I follow my dad down
To the video rental store
Mentally explore
The glorious
Phantasmagoria

To some sunny summer family reunion in a soccer practice park
Through a dark grainy camcorder
With '1994' in white numbers on the border of the lower right corner where you
Were quite pixelated by the men in the tans
Beside the subtly outdated minivans
In turquoise polos as the boys blow 'O's
Through the dirty mustaches they grew
Smoking Merit cigarettes you inherit from Papou
Pulled from soft packs in an '89 Buick Park Avenue
In slacks on the pickup lane cracks of the Catholic K thru 8 his great grandson goes to

There's a dead world locked in a Nintendo 64
In some divorced friend's mom's apartment bedroom drawer
And a chandelier of chrome in her white brick apartment home's
Shared stairwell where the farewells blew
And sag with the bags
Of sidewalk salt

You cannot disown
Your middle-school cologne
And the tedium
Is the medium that connects
All that is holy
I was the goalie
Who let in an infinitude of
Worlds
That I can't possibly disown
The snow
Ossified to bone
And got stained so black
By the track of the sliding doors
Of the modern cell phone stores
Chaldeans smoking sweetly
As the deeply dim night pours
For you

There's a meteorologist
On the local news
Whose hand I got to grip
On a fifth grade field trip
He's no long young-dad hip
For he's now as old as all of us
Would ever want to be
And the weather, we foresee
Will be better endlessly

Once Nana's
Backyard swallows us
The lawns aren't cut too short
And they abut the tennis court
And our ages are not cages
That we cannot re-assort

Oh, the obsolescence
Of your adolescence
Heavy as a copy machine
Gargantuan, elephantine
In an old friend's dad's 90s home office
With off-white purring processors
And PC blurs on monitors
They can't display the past so they
Just mark their time and darken

I'm just
Hard-hopin'
I can open
It up

Dealerships by Matthew Milia

The muffler smoke
Does lovingly choke
The community college's dusk parking lot
The potholes soak
Because the ice broke
And jarringly jolt us till the shocks are shot
And the carports are revving with warming-up motors
With throats that are heavily fuming exhaust
And I taste who I am when I breathe the odors
And all that was feral is sterile with frost

And it feels so good
Feels so holy
My world should
Soon control me
And I know that I would
Like it to

The shrink-wrapped cosmetics and cardboard aesthetics of department store picture frame inserts that my
Mother keeps under a sink in a cupboard with her high school diploma and it hurts to try
To keep all our treasures intact for forever in fact they are cluttered and muttering sighs
The pipes froze and ruptured and so now her cupboard is full of possessions that she can't keep dry

I see wild geese in the drainage ditch east
Of the hotel chains behind Thunderbird Lanes
When I go do some banking, rigidly thanking
What the frigidness deems and the extremes it contains

And the funeral home, pharmacy, bar and grill are to see
Me to the white and bright sports domes of youth
But all that was docile's now frozen and hostilely
Clenching her denture where once was a tooth

Behind the Home Depot parking lot
The cold woods decay
The homeless they go and squat
And wrestle their way

The old lovers spurn
And the new lovers enter
The bitter night burns
In the bottle return's sticky center

Where
The dealerships garishly light up the parish where we
Wore Catholic uniforms from K to 8
The winter it frigidly deals out a litany
Of auto parts from car wrecks at the Secretary of State

Dealerships, dealerships in the night townships
Where my allergist's magazines were from the late
1990s when dealerships dealt out
Pleated-pant children belting in lots
Shelter their snow-boots in sweltering showrooms
Or a storage space that radiates ten-thousand watts

And then
I'll meet you out where the outlet malls turn to black holes
I'll greet you cradling obsolete remote controls
To television sets in entertainment cabinets
From lost living rooms of trampled carpets
Of VHS sun-bleached cassettes and teenage trophies of plastic soccer nets
And the clip art signs are cartoonish on diners
Which are actually grimmer than hell in the night
And a bright CVS might make me obsess
But at least I have found what is mine in the light

And it feels so pure
Feels so singular
Still and sure
That's the thing you were
Meant to see when you
Went through the
Dimming world

Those blaring bugs wouldn't leave me alone
And it's not that I deserved their letting
The autumn tugs and the summer moans
And pretty soon winter was setting
And if safety is the one thing
I knew never would harm me
Last hot fall
I put all mine
In a Salvation Army
On the borderline of losing my mind
And pitifully making excuses
On the borderline of sweetness I find
In Rhode Island and Massachusetts

In Protection of Sylvan Manor by Matthew Milia

I'll be swimming in the ditches
With the brimming snowmelt
With unexplainable fishes
And the plopped-down mallards belt out
For vouchers of pizza coupons
Surrounding the mailbox
And drowned in the lawns
There with me

Yes, some spiny heart grieves
For our occasional escape
In its artichoke leaves
That our bottom teeth familially scrape
Then discard on creased paper plates
As a knife extricates what's released
And the heat levitates

Does your dad fall asleep
With the remote in his hand?
Does a digital beep
Promote gentle reprimand
To share all your love
Like the threadbare cloth of
Some T-shirt your mom wears
From a tournament of soccer you played
In 1998?

He bakes blank birthday cakes
In the grocery store flicker
And the hard plastic cases
He seals with a sticker
With a bar code and what's owed
And in a gossiping snicker
The birthday-boy moms
With expired pom-poms gravitate
To personalize one
For her first and only prized son

I cannot sleep
With this language snowing so deeply
In my head
Dim soccer goals
And non-marking gym soles
With which I walk through instead

The archaic layout of the buildings that play out
My past as I'm lying in my bed
They will not stay out and so the only way out
Is to worship these worlds with my face red
Blushing beauteously
Rushing circuitously
Shaking with every endorphin
Constantly mesmerized
By all I've memorized
Leaving no place as an orphan

I perfect my conveyance by directing a seance
From an eighth grade computer lab station in the basement
Where the latchkey kids feel like a non-factor
And the black-ice skids call the strip-mall
Chiropractor
To the sweetly faulty parents
On their white-stained salty errands

Nonetheless, I digress
I walk through
Each janitor's closet
And lavatory faucet
And desk configuration
And signature validation
On a permission slip nervously forged
Clarifying tenuous eras of my penmanship's formation
The holy gradation

For the coaches that wronged me
And my sense of belonging
There's a song I can taste when the braces are tightened
And the forceps clamp and the summer is heightened
And my mouth is the amplifier that voices its name

Well, no two-bit piece of shit interloper
Is gonna touch my world or molest my hope or
My kingdom that lingers in each drawer I open
When I open it up I'll be groping at what is for damn sure
In the dimming of Sylvan Manor

If the Summer by Matthew Milia

Oh, if the summer
Leafy screens
Of the undersides of bushes
Took me in like time machines
I'd crawl out
Red-faced
2006
And set my mind to find you
Inside the library bricks
And with your date-stamper
You'd brand my hand
I'm the nervous camper
Who would happily choke on the woodsmoke
To lie next to you where you woke
In the sand

Oh, what a bummer
Not to re-begin
Not to have a sunburn
Marrying the sum of our skin
And in some very small rooms
Where we'd sweat through the sheets
I'd curse the hour that it all blooms
And just pray to God it repeats

M.A.C. and Elizabeth
Sweating through the
Sheets with
A memory and a myth
The balcony of Meredith's
Apartment

Blinded my eye sockets to the
Sight of Marian
The youngest memories burst
Like a sun
In the hot black night I
Found my contrarian
If any girl is cursed
She's the one
And I am the curse
I am the worst

Oh, if the summer
Lake and pool
Cease to make my body
Feel so young and cool
For I've been burned so badly
In the worst way
By squandering so sadly
By being cruel
In that way

Surgery by Matthew Milia

I approach my coach to tell him
The anesthesia wore off
And then a loose cough
Crackles accolades in spades
For me

So they pour us up to La Rosa Market
Maybe you meet us with the Taurus
And you park it there

The air is sweet with bare summer feet
And cucumber-scented hair
The sun is wetting heads
Of sweating girls
In pretty smells
It swells and swirls
Then wanes

And the surgical wound
Is twisted deep
Like the sheets on a summer bed
And I'm marooned
In the summer weeds
Behind Sylvan Lanes instead
And all the life behind Sylvan Lanes
It wanes till it is dead

Keego Harbor trailer park
Beneath my parents' Upper Room
They had one too
Pet love in the sweat of
Forgetful heavenly days
I got some Mackinac Island caricatures
Where my toothy youth decays

When we would take Orchard Lake Road
To the St. Mary's Fair
Your first cellular phone
And the tone of the blown-out speaker
Lying supine on the pebbly asphalt
Electrically whine through the trebly assault
As the sidewalk calk, yeah the fault-lines
Scuff your sneaker

Disposable camera prints
Leaning in the doorjamb squints
The figure of my dad
And the body he had
When he was shirtless and virile
He'd drive me to intramural
Or the soccer travel fear
A Chevy Cavalier
And though I was puerile
My comfort was near

I genuflect on the kindergarten rug
Where I chugged all my pure light
A clunky TV cart and the sunken eyesight
A sleepy-eyed departure of a dream

Now I'm feeling like a phony up at Kerby's Koney Island
And the parents tick in decades
And the pathos just parades its wickedness
So sad
All the love that we had
Dissolves to an abyss
Of summer ski-hills
Where my newcomer skills
Once skidded in wintriness
Till the kid crashed

And red-faced shame
Is the world's only aim
When my spoiled Christmas gifts got stashed
I could hear strange percussion
In the depths of the concussion
Like the fireworks that once splashed
In Sylvan Lake
Then some pungent summer deodorant
Forced me to awake
To my mother's laugh

Nightmares of Space by Matthew Milia

What can it mean to go it alone
To quarantine the moments we've known
And lock it away
And bury the throne
Of a hot summer bed in my heart?
It's not smart

To try to die
When something so soft's standing by
But why should I
Deserve something only to lie?
I don't know why I should
Or whatever let me do it
But if your sweetness
Could defeat this for good
I wouldn't hold you to it

Placing the nightmares of space
Between myself and the dearest face
That I could every try to recall
At all
And if each threat
That we came to regret
As we'd shout it
At the outlet mall

Still dissolves there
Broke and bare
The worst shame
All the same

What can I do but become estranged
From the truest true that the world had arranged
For me to cling to
But only deranged
Sad as a dumpster at night?
It's not right

To kill the chill
That defines the warmth there inside
I'm ill and most likely will
Never get right there inside
But oh, the pride

When you were the one who knew me
I cried
When the angels of heat flew through me

If the Suns Collapse by Matthew Milia

My oh my, you're so far away
By the time I see you
The sky may look so evil and gray
Or perhaps, we'll take naps in the sun
If the suns collapse
We'll make laps on the run
And run forever
'Neath their punishment
But punishment is not what you deserve
You were meant
For something they reserve
For early mornings
When your heaven is blurred
Blurred and vague
Each word does age so fast
Like a plague
It's not allowed to last
For very long but how
Fantastic and strong
While it does, while it buzzes free
All that was still courses
Through me
Infinite tons, liquid gallons
Of stunning suns

In some brittle part
Of my little heart
I know I can
Plan a way to stay
And say

My oh my, you're so far away
If I die, it could be today
And all I see
All that I free will be
Okay

Eternity of Dimming by Matthew Milia

August obliterates trust and it's in sun-dust I'm found
Home to swill the shrilly insect sound
Stumble to the Dairy Queen
Thumb a People Magazine
Glossy as the bright leaf greened and drowned
In the light

An eternity of dimming
You turn to me, I'm slimming
The graininess is winning every night
Clarity's a rarity that once was just beginning
Now hellish unembellished foreign blurs
In the corners of my eyesight

In this local exit highway night
We must grow accustomed to the sight
And empty all surprise to see the capsize of the semis

'Cause nothing will stop the world's physics from working
Or the manner in which it's situated and lurking
Permanently, so externally
But there's pleasure and death in each second
To be reckoned with

And there's boredom and sex within each wild minute
And the mildest hour has some deadly power in it
And maybe I'll cower with Yia Yia's silk flowers
As the motion sensor light does brighten and sour

On the back patio where the raccoons go
Whining and divining through the grainy night glow
The same as me as I'm fumbling to see
An inch off my face with a pinch of disgrace

Each photo of the summer is one in the same
With a bloodshot number in the corner of the frame
Dating each time that we became
Memorialized in the
Dimming

An eternity of dimming
You turn to me, I'm slimming
The graininess is winning every night
Clarity's a rarity that once was young and brimming
Now hellish unembellished foreign blurs
In the corners of my eyesight

A bat circles above my brain
As I walk down St. Joseph in the dusky
Graininess, yes this gorgeousness is
Growing too dark
To mention

What becomes of the summer skin
When it disintegrates in
The blackness of the past?
At last, I've become
An extension

Of the dimming