A Poem by Kyle Hemmings

Poetry, Prose



You Say Alaska; I Say Eskimo Pie

We were kids shading the other over the footbridge. It led to ten years more of:

masquerading as each other’s kite
painting happy faces on empty store windows during a gold rush
turning my room into an igloo for poker-faced flute soloists
reciting our names backwards but not the vowels

I luv-ed U. But not before I or O.

And later, after a southeasterly wind separated us
into people with backs turned, denying or hyper-realizing
the drop in the chasm is our memories third-spacing,
you told me that if I decided to rob banks in Reno,
or San Jose, you would write me in the can. My solo fan!
I still wish I could play the flat notes on the oboe
like you when your deer were still ideal
& I was a promising fur trapper in the outskirts
of a sandbox/I settled for peanut butter & jelly
& a sloppy smooch that I verified by mirror-posing.
But the winters were getting WORSE.
My snowshoes were made from plastic & rechargeable
winter light.

In waning midnight sun, U Owned mE.

I think I have done myself in.
I think your husband is a lightbulb screwed into all
the wrong meta-receptacles.
I dream of you flashing over billboards at night,
but you never look my way.
I was never in a country that didn’t have a name
for proper fish or bait or scudder hunter.
I once caught you & let you go.
You keep surfacing from time to time
through the tiny floe of ice I drift upon.
we still have blue eyes & wide Antarctica grins
but the sled dogs have left us without meat.

I O U. Still do.

an old milk carton
dimpled in dirty white snow
homeless dog treads miles
for a smile, the shape
of my frostbitten feet
covered over.


Kyle Hemmings is the author of several chapbooks of poetry and prose: Avenue C, Cat People, and Anime Junkie (Scars Publications), and Tokyo Girls in Science Fiction (NAP). His latest e-books are You Never Die in Wholes from Good Story Press and The Truth about Onions from Good Samaritan.  His latest collection of prose/poetry is Void & Sky from Outskirt Press. He lives and writes in New Jersey.