Heads up, small fry. Peck on the cheek, knockout
punch in your back pocket. She got jukebox,
junk bonds, choke hold hid up her sleeve. A pox
upon her house collars tainted flameout.
Don’t lift a lid or bat a lash. Get out
of your way. Take it neat, not on the rocks.
When you met she sported red dreadlocks
and lip-synched ska, her hymn no less devout
than blink or shifted gaze gift-wrapped inside
out. Mad dash grazes skin slurred with scent: rat
musk. Lapsed monks reek of brine. Shorn dead of night,
this too bright world blinds. Dare tyrannicide
in primetime. Caress three feral cats
as you befriend the shark. Regain your sight.
Robert Focht is a graduate of New Jersey City University and has studied with Maureen O'Brien, Patricia Carlin, Dennis Nurkse, Rachel Wetzsteon, Terese Svoboda, and Brenda Shaughnessy. His love affair with poetry began in grade school and crystallized when, at sixteen, his aunt gifted him with his recently deceased uncle’s copy of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. Protracted immersion in surrealism, dada, and oulipo followed. A self-described neo-transcendentalist, he lives a predominantly solitary life with his two rescue dogs in the ghost town of West Hoboken, New Jersey and divides his time between writing implausible autobiographies and editing cookbooks on ethnic cuisine.