Turner Canty

Final Fantasy Boyfriend

Fleet week has come and gone

and still I find myself sucking down the same old cigarettes

duped by another damsel in distress

going for that twinkie tennis look

not really haunted by my mistakes

so much as forced to process them over and over 

with daily reminders set by social media

you can leave this place, but it won’t necessarily leave you.

Lover, you should’ve come over

there are moments I feel powerless to express my true opinions

rather, I leave them like grass clippings for the next person to find

little shits on the lawn 

obscured from view

wanting to have my cake and eat it too.

There are places I would take you if you’d let me

beneath the fountains of youth

hold my hand when we cross the street

wanton disregard for safety in the city that never sleeps

live long and sponsor my failing music career

death bed denouncement of the one you thought was daddy

so much disrespect it’s a wonder they still keep your name on the leaderboard

back when going to school meant getting a J-O-B.

The Physical World

Everyone is drunk in the physical world

driving home after a 12-hour shift of being alive

the crushing blow of the nightly traffic

and the lingering sound of crickets teasing the darkness

leaves stepdad lost in a whirl of dandruff

shipwrecked on I-90 for several earth years

pulled over for a dim fog lamp by some conniving Prospero

asking about the time of day on Jupiter

too tired to navigate this chunky millennium

he wakes up in county jail

with the faint taste of fenugreek at the back of his throat.

We did it until there was nothing left to do it to

spraying solvents all over the on-suite in the guest bedroom

white painted brick interior gives it a kind of civil war vibe

I found twelve copies of your book in the couch cushions

seemed like they were holding the whole thing together.

Your dick looks like a little éclair and it tastes like one too

we eat recent sandwiches waiting for the clock to strike

while red wing blackbirds pick morsels from our teeth

reality bites in the forgotten physical world

where no amount of paranoia is sufficient

in the space between midwestern politeness and urban apartheid

parents who only talk to their children in moral platitudes 

usually have vodka hidden somewhere on the premises.

This is my version of the divorce

trying to find all the bodies that are buried in the backyard

making amends with the gyro shop owner after all these years

adrift like the wacky waving inflatable tube man

flinging itself back and forth with no knowledge of its corporeal existence

amidst the other demon byproducts lining this stretch of highway

we ponder these phenomena on nights out with drink in hand

singing songs into one spit coated but durable mic

making love in the physical world

waiting for a chance to step outside into the cool air and have half a cigarette

and talk of the things that might help us get through the morning

slippery memories, trickles of dread for the coming workday

staying for one more round before calling it

so I might have something to think about on the train tomorrow.

Turner Capehart Canty is a poet living in Queens NY. His most recent chapbook, I Want to Miss Them, was published by Eyelet Press in 2019. Turner is currently completing a Master’s of Public Health from the CUNY School of Public Health, and is working on creating a series of poetry mixtapes and diagrams.