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Tin Man wants to tell Dorothy it’s over

I never think of love. I never think of how to get home.
I’m tainted and middling over-wrought but you know
where you stand with me. Juxtapose that in your world
of ghost-children & landscapes alive & wet with green
& blues. Every time we have these wordless arguments
I leave, you remain & cloister yourself in martyrdom
& invent another fairy tale. I’m strung out & hardwired
to implode at a moment’s notice. You’ve always known
what your heart needs. All I ever wanted was to be your
scarecrow man, a lit match to my mouth, black feathers
falling at my feet.


Oz plans an escape

I want to leave her ghost behind, forget the way she smolders
next to me. I want to learn to fly again. Remember air carries
light; the warm red of an apple, the bitter-cold white of winter.
Even the sky has limits, fenced in borders, plains and valleys
and dead-ends disguised as clouds. Once upon a time was all
we needed; fields were yellow, her hand smooth on my arm
was enough to take flight. She wore silence like a loose fitting
dress, we watched as crows picked at shadows pinned to rows;
razor-straight, long shallow graves to bury our past. She’ll forget.
She’s forgotten already. Magic doesn’t work anymore. I’m a fraud,
a charlatan that hides behind his mistakes, hoards imaginary sins.
I’m here. Not where I belong but all roads lead to somewhere else.


Alex lives in Minneapolis; he has had poems published in numerous journals. His chapbook based on the last words of Texas Death Row inmates, Justice for all, is forthcoming from Conversation Paperpress (UK). Another chapbook, Schoolhouse Rock, is forthcoming from Green Fuse Press. A collaborative effort with the artist Susan Solomon, A Cabal of Angels, is also forthcoming from Red Bird Chapbooks. He has been the recipient of five Pushcart Nominations.