Poetry: "Golden Vine" & "Forearm Lariat" by Clem Flowers

Golden Vine

Every eye keeps down at the burning stones & fresh bricks along the golden line tin promise of dream

lights burst out the greenery on the abandoned tire yard


spits show lights

in the heart of dandelion salad


the red rock fence

mornings of

bird song & trash compactors

blister blue on the

flares of clover

while the winded paths


into the night

carving imperfect hearts

& shaky smiles

on a charcoal wall

as memories

of the lavender

& pepper trees

that used to stand

along the roadside

push & pull

on the forgotten crown

blanched eyes

of the bloom in the


of red rock towers

shut the door of

racing moonlights

while we smile

at the madness

of the endless carnival

in the Days Inn that had been


since that

grease fire

broke out

& wonder

if that will be the


anyone ever comes to our town

Forearm Lariat

Blue ink hands are gently cradling apples out in the rolling goat grass the mill left as a peace offering for

the abandoned factory town

You pulled out a utility knife from your military surplus jacket & split the bounty with me

We ate in silence as we took in the sight of the abandoned thrasher being slowly defeated by moss &

curling vines of some unknown origin, though you figured it was some offshoot of nearby pecan trees

You gently moved closer, claiming a sudden chill, and I took it at face value, even as my sweat soaked

thru my tattered green button up shirt I'd just picked up that morning from a thrift store

A lone owl called out to the hanging fog

I felt the touch of lips I'd longed for over so many haze dry nights out in thy sugarcane grove




For you to call for me the way I'd heard you do for so many that never did you right, that always took

advantage, that left you lonesome like me

Those lips finally touched mine and under that gliding, pregnant cherry moon, we sobbed with smiles

as we confessed the love that left so many folded into oblivion by the judgemental eyes in our

hometown, which still proudly boasted of its enlistment numbers back during the days of

Appomattox & Antietam & Honest Abe & "Dixie"

drank deep the somber shimmer of the kudzu under the rusted stars as we finally caved to the urges our

churches promised would grant us a smiling welcome party on the other side by Charon & Lucifer

Our hunger finally came to the forefront of our exhausted hearts like fireworks over a fairground.

We were devoured with an unholy joy.

Clem Flowers (They/ Them) is a soft spoken southern transplant living in spitting distance of some mountains in Utah. In an eternal search for the perfect sweet potato fry. Nb, bi, and queer as the day is long, they live in a cozy apartment with their wonderful wife & sweet calico kitty. They can be found on Twitter at @hand_springs777