You didn’t come with a Neil Young
Soundtrack, and you didn’t offer
William Blake’s songs of Innocence
Or Experience in black and white
Film. But you certainly were the eyes
Of the birch trees and the whore
Performing fellatio in the town
Of Machine. Like you, I risked
Every penny of my inheritance
For the train west and a job quite
Quotidian. The buffalo being shot
Are an obvious metaphor. Iggy Pop
Not so much. As some are born to
Sweet delight, you have lived in
Flames and fright. Our love was
A psychedelic western – your ego,
Jim Jarmusch; my breasts, Johnny
Depp and Gary Farmer. And my
Peace of mind, Billy Bob Thornton’s
Paper thin throat, blood pumping
Thumping into oblivion that night
At the campsite when it became clear
That no one in this scenario was
Even remotely sympathetic.

Candice Kelsey is published in Poet Lore, The Cortland Review, Hobart Pulp, and Wilderness House, among others. Her work has been incorporated into multiple 3-D art installations. An educator of 19 years, she lives in Los Angeles and serves as a fiction reader for The New England Review. Candice is also a part-time writing instructor at Loyola Marymount University.