Running Nightly

Dan Encarnacion

at The White Horse Inn

we tangoed on the table ‘til the shots we downed trembled

bladders and fuzz not felt

but batting in our mouths

and red vessels shipping empty import across our eyes

we lurked late we shot straight

we were waylaid, college-grad clerks tying tongue as deft as cardboard bales

we were retired roller derby queens driving schnapps across the rail

we were Forty-Niner Faithful from tight to emaciated end

we were sixty-nining gourmands of flesh for rapture to us send

we were autoshop mechanics, grease monkeys dirty on the rag

we were we were and we were we were

we were anachronistic black elevator operators who refused the sight of watermelon for

fear of pickaninny pose

we were white collar drones dancing release about sweet pollen’d stamen, hissing

humming hive walls

we were drunks

we were dykes we were fags

we were lonely

but we were

so we honed our staged cues

so we racked our eager balls

so we pounded our pockets to work another drink

played our games to unspoken house rules bent over blind to ass in air

we tangoed on the table ‘til the shots we downed trembled

and the fuzz not the felt

presence of a patrol car cruising up behind us at a light

not a guardian angel setting us to right

but the snow on a tv set

searching for a signal

running nightly through

the explosions in our heads


The bleak of Bela Tarr, the spare of Supersilent, the spike of quad-lattes palpitates Dan Encarnacion’s palpus in Portland, Oregon. He has been published in MARGIE, Eleven Eleven, Berkeley Poetry Review, Exquisite Corpse, among others. His poem, “Aposiopesis,” was recently nominated for the 2014 Pushcart Prize. Imbibe the air, inebriate your cells, incubate the spores, insufflate the page.