Arms of a Tennessee Woman

I lost my eye and one or two teeth
in the arms of a Tennessee woman
her lovemaking was like a knife fight
in a scissors factory full of razor blades
with all the employees
down in the dirt like dogs
Hard heat of a station wagon romance
at high noon
sunburned like fighting an octopus
for the last piece of oxygen in the sea
only to find its really just a fish bowl
where the water never gets changed.

She rubbed me hard
so hard, she rubbed me long
but she rubbed me all wrong, eight arms
brought me the news
she tied my tubes
only the darkest lies find room to leak out into the air

I thought I was the light bulb
burning brightly, center of thought
and motion. In the end I learn
I am but the filament
burning brightly, yes,
but at a terrible cost.

Bake me some biscuits in the oven of human misery
slather the windshield with the uncooked dough
and crooked laughter
faster, always faster
I smell the burnt rice smoldering in the damp fields
the fire bombing killed the children where they stood
once flesh and blood, now
just whispers of steam floating upward
a terrible weight is lifted
the weight of memory
only to be dumped somewhere else
on a hillside covered with sad holes
dead people and spiders —
oh, just forget it
let’s go bake some apple pie and have a rest
the doctors and clergy will be here soon enough
and I really need to close my eyes
for just a moment
rest in the Tennessee blue grass
the unfettered loam of progress
Smelling the wind is making me tired
and oh, so very lonely.


"Lady in Red" © Cesar Valtierra

“Lady in Red” © Cesar Valtierra


Steve Sibra is a small town boy from Eastern Montana who grew up in the 1960s. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in small press periodicals such as Tramp, Jawline Review, Jersey Devil Press, Hollow Magazine and others.

Cesar Valtierra is a graphic designer from El Paso, TX and the creator of the webcomic, Balazo.