Two Poems by Rusty Barnes

Rusty Barnes

Date Night at Fuddruckers, Saugus MA
Year of Our Lord, 2018

we have no imagination,
my wife and I,
so we end up here, nestled

alongside Route 1,
causeway to the North

on the menu
the biggest effing burger
they have

a pound of meat dressed
out in cheese,
with a great stack of onion.

my wife in all things (almost)
moderates herself with a salad.
And so we two eat,

solo for once as a pair
and touch our greasy
chili cheese fries together

in salute. God,
it must be said.
is not always good,

but this is.



On a steamy July day in the year
2025 a man will set fire to a trash

can in the parking lot of the former
racetrack at Suffolk Downs which will

jump to a nearby pile of wood
and spread to a set of tires

on an old Ford Focus which will ignite
an explosion which will trigger a flame

and a deluge of smoke which can
be seen from incoming planes

forced to reroute for not being
able to see and panic will ensue.

Right now that young man sits in a room
with many other people watching

fires bloom like mushrooms in the
west. He gets an erection and doesn’t

know why. Years later it will come
to him that the way of pleasure

is through fire and he will take his
match and light a suppurating flame

which will heat his hand as he touches
himself which triggers the orgasm

which will pleasure his brain and he will
think: I love it. I love it. Let it all burn.

Rusty Barnes is author of the story collections Breaking it Down and Mostly Redneck, as well as four novels: Reckoning, Ridgerunner, Knuckledragger, and The Last Danger (forthcoming from Shotgun Honey/Down & Out Books in October 2018). His poetry collections include On Broad Sound and Jesus in the Ghost Room, both from Nixes Mates Books.

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