ANOTHER POEM ABOUT D.
Simply because sometimes
when I come back
to this town,
all I want
is to trace the route
through the red
push-pins on the map
to see if anything
Previously published in Arsenic Lobster – 2015 anthology
I want to be a footnote in your single sentence, a history of waters and the chemical constitution of summer air – outlined and credited, denoted in small subscript by a single digit. I want to be the wordy explanation of your choice of dialect – your justification. I want to be quoted, if even indirectly, by your life. I want to be a clean reference, further proof to back you up. I want to be a footnote in your single sentence, a footnote longer than the sentence itself, the convoluted back-story behind the words that have been decided on, the words that – though diminuitive – finally say all that needed saying.
Previously published in Firewords Quarterly
I SUPPOSE I SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU
The rain across your face, hair stuck
in backwards commas to your forehead,
I suppose I should have said it –
something stupid, sentimental.
Wyoming fall trees, black branches
against slowly whitening sky,
we touched palms to fingers;
a quiet kind of language.
We walked together, coats catching
in a slow sort of friction. We taught each other
small new words for anger, for lust,
slight words towards forgiveness.
Hours in a parked car
trying out new sets of rules,
how to break each one.
The night you asked me to kiss you.
Just once. And the night I said no.
Ice formed on the windows, your face –
cracked shadow. Suppose I would have.
Previously published (print only) in Grasslimb
PHOTOGRAPH – Jennifer 1993
She looks up from her Taco Bell
as the flash
snaps her skin to light,
raises her middle finger
towards the ceiling
of the trailer, the hand
thrust towards the lens.
If I’m right, this is the final picture
that I ever took of her.
If I’m right, I deserved
A SIMPLE POEM FOR AHMED AL-JUMAILI
For I have also stopped
I have photographed
moments of wonder
in the attempt
I have also trusted
in the sanctity
of my neighbors.
I have stood
the simple crack
I have been witness
to the same nights as you
and I am still
For that, I offer
small as they may seem
and a pledge
C.C. Russell lives in Casper, Wyoming with his wife and daughter. His writing has recently appeared in such places as Tahoma Literary Review, Word Riot, Rattle, and The Colorado Review. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net. He has held jobs in a wide range of vocations – everything from graveyard shift convenience store clerk to retail management with stops along the way as dive bar dj and swimming pool maintenance. He has also lived in New York and Ohio. He can be found on Twitter @c_c_russell