Shirts or Skins, a 2014 poetry chapbook by Jim Redmond

Discount Tire Apocalypse

he was on meth when the police caught him
they asked him if these tattoos mean anything
he said warriors tattoo their noses sometimes
they asked why was he breaking into a tire shop
he said that he thought it was almost Christmas
that he needed something good for his little boy
had they seen his little boy how big he had got
when they told him what day it was he laughed
out of kindness like they had told a bad joke
he said the mind is a snake handler groping
for the dead lizard that had swallowed us all
last Tuesday just like some tear of black sugar
and there was no going back how his eyes were
two negatives stuck at the end of a movie reel
burning the ghost of a tired Tom Joad back
into their flashlights back into each brain cell
lit up like a funeral pyre and let go on the water
the ease of the holy spirit slipping the world
back into tongues as they read him his rights

Originally published at LEVELER


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