as backup
                                    money became
                                    IOUs my lipstick
                                    smear gave cheating
                                    a certain charm
                                    just kiss me
                                nothing like
                                screaming to give away the theater of sex
                        the last one was the last one
              until the new last one comes winging in
             it’s poetry it’s always about love
               snake oil salesman in bathtub
                            pennies on his eyelids
                when his spirit             gets
          caught on teeth of
        the pumpkin we stick
             a candle inside


he punched my face to remind me
     of something I forgot
    he apologized when he
    stopped hating faggots
congratulations I am remembering
all                          of it now
all night egging him on to jump higher and higher and
this is not the way he wanted things to make up the rest of the road
            never mind me telling him it is over
                         all we
                         up here for was the love


               can I babysit
                 teach them
      basic disobedience
to be deaf to factory bells
         there’s an annoying poet
         who says she killed poetry
         just ask her at each          poetry      reading
         “is this another memorial service for you”
        if poetry is dead call me a necrophiliac
      I don’t want children to inherit the earth
        I want them to snatch it from heedless
               adults before it’s milked
                  all wish lists at
                         once is
                        once isheavenly


                     “I’m sorry I’m dying”
               I couldn’t believe he said it
            I can’t believe I held his hand
         and didn’t ask him why he said it
   they leave the sobbing to the survivors
                                a very
                   like idiots we accept
   centuries of anger through our pens
          it’s okay to be happy is what
      you have been waiting to hear as
        you approach the room where
         I just wrote in red NO

CAConrad’s childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He is the author of eight books of poetry and essays, the latest ECODEVIANCE: (Soma)tics for the Future Wilderness (Wave Books, 2014) is the winner of the 2015 Believer Magazine Book Award. He is a 2015 Headlands Art Fellow, and has also received fellowships from Lannan Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Banff, Ucross, RADAR, and the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage; he conducts workshops on (Soma)tic Poetry and Ecopoetics. WEB