There is smoke
in my nose, but no cigarette.
There is a dragon
in the room, hiding like an elf.
I will fan
his fire if he lets the maiden go.
I can’t find him.
All I have is cheese
which I cannot eat.
The python wraps around his neck.
Its eyes are opals. Stars combust
and swallow space. Now they stare
at me. The man juggles torches
for a living. There is no rabbit
in his hat, just a frog
that cannot be a prince.
By way of his sleeve—
the fork and the spoon
and what the cow meant
to the cheese on the moon.
I have never understood criminals
who turn themselves in with a smile
until now. These bars are not cold,
they are refreshing; the mat is not hard,
it is firm for my back so I may sleep
and work hard in the morning.
I can even eat the cheese.
The sun is a lamp
behind a black curtain.
I am a negative
dipped in solution and hung
up to dry. The lamp is my crowd;
the solution my undertaker;
the clothespins my hangman.
I hope I make a good photo.
The hounds bay.
I swim downstream.
The water is not cold
if I can’t feel anymore.
There is ice in my nose.
It is quick-dry cement.
My hair feels like twigs
after winter rain.
I will lie on shore,
in the pebbles and driftwood,
and stare at the sun.
For all its brightness,
it cannot dry me or warm me.
It cannot melt me
like cheese in a skillet
if I cannot feel it.
Heat curves off the road in ribbons.
It tickles the sweat on the tips of the hair
on my arm. I see a woman across the road,
in the sand. She is wearing a sari.
I don’t know her, but she is pretty
without a face.
I could lie down and sleep
if that rock would stop hissing.
I will run to the next station.
The attendant will be dead
from a shotgun blast to the chest.
He is a yellow-skinned man
full of holes and smelling
like old cheese. It is not unlike
something. We can be twins.
Death comes slower than imagined.
It is the mold on the cheese.
The cow hates me,
bacteria plays me for a fool.
I ate the cheese, and now I’m sick.
—Luke Evans is a writer. He lives in Colorado with a wife and foster kids, and makes money with water. He has written poems, too many to list, some of which are found in The Pedestal, or Etchings, or other places where poems go to preen. He has also written a novel, which is not yet published. He can be found at lukevans.wixsite.com/lukevans-writer.