Who Done It / by Spirited Magazine

Spirited #5 [Noir Generation]
by J.A. Scott

What we are.

37, the slug swapped shells to empty
his armory. In that cabin somewhere
where the land was muted by the falling
snow. The toe, unobserved, twitched,
as the spray stretched into the dry wall,
formed into stucco, around the frozen mouth,
that dripped froths of dried cud,
when the throes of wind bulged, lapping
the brittle cavities, leaching in mounds of white. White, he was barred in white, until the ease of spring.

His final word: Slug, printed in faded white,
along the old shell’s tubing, that notched
the wood, with its heated brass. Reminding us
of the Tuesdays he’d return home, renewed
(twice nude) in the cities he called mountains,
to weave hymns for the tacit, the malformed,
wayward, with a patchwork of grayouts and gossip,
divination in ashes, took form in sonnets and songs; that dried in letters on pages, moved
friends; who worried, worried and did nothing
but worry and offer him a drink.

“limp dicked,” he confessed, between books,
and women. Until he met her, and bought her
a rock he couldn’t afford. Which she kept
when he returned, too blacked out to make out
how the hymns had congealed into rough crumbs
that bit the tongue, collected (in fits) in cans,
in cities he called mountains, Whose alleys were streams, where women were women were awakened in poems, that he knew he had written by reading the name, which was repeated on the
letter, that read in the end,

“it wasn’t worth it.”