Poems by R.T. Castleberry

To Perish

It’s not a bad thing to die
on a dark road returning home.
The sky grown wide enough,
receptive to your damaged plea.
Stars are cold dizziness.
Moonlight’s strike on the tip of a tree,
intersections dazed in haze yellow light
are the lyrics that haunted you young.
There’s a cop on a sleepy side street, 
a feral cat on its prowl.
Your tongue tastes a sweeter bourbon,
the bite of English tobacco.
It’s not a bad thing to die
on a dark road returning home.

The Deaths Offscreen

We amplify our purgatory
with sloe gin, cracked ice,
tensions of an Urso lighter, 
Pall Mall’s in her mother’s Dunhill holder.

With a sense of silk shawls settled
on a love seat,
we have clouded over,
turned country syllables to leery conclusions,
praise and laughter to accusations 
of kited checks, click bait gossip. 

This precinct is a haunt of bones,
sunstruck fest of pipe or needle, Mezcal worm.
Tired, injured, 
my hair chopped careless short,
her eyes gripped in cocaine slumber,
we are intent on violations.

Like a corpse stain on bungalow carpet,
we are skeptical--and angry for it.
Her arm is wrapped, elbow to wrist.
An In Utero tee drapes 
bloody from a kitchen table.
We are haphazard children, slicing 
Hermes scarves to seal anniversary’s wound.
There is no lie except getting caught.