Randy Heinitz CC
Now I live on Cherry Court, a little trailer park the size of someone's backyard. I've put up cheeky gnomes and a mud mat out in front. My windows let everything in.
I was in bad shape before.
Twenty two and manning a trench in the Jungle of America’s Desire. It was bottomland. Rations were rationed and everything could have been prevented but was not ever prevented. I inhaled bedrock and exhaled fumes. I was nobody's son. The world was a tailspin, a car seizing off track. Fantastic, awful oranges and delayed greens stretched on over the landscape as new bombs went off on the horizon like a fresh idea in the mind of God. We were sky watching, chain smoking, bullet flashing rubies. I, the dud of them all.
I was disagreeable and all I wanted to do was read the latest of the Times in the shade of the bended trees or ride Johnny’s back like a kiddie. I held my gun at a pathetic angle.
But then I split into fluorescence. An unhinged pearl, I would speak out loud to myself. Full recital poems. I heard Ella's orchestra at night where there was only smoke and snores and distant cat mews. I screamed when asked to speak. I hid in bushes pretending I was a rabbit without intention only furs. I knew nothing of the balking afternoon in those moments. My aim was all at once fantastic. I could have shot God out of his heaven.
After four weeks of this, Johnny found me in a tree, naked and convinced he was a replica. He could have been anyone. I didn't see him. I saw starbursts and the insides of fruits. He took me to the infirmary where a cloaked nurse declared me insane. I was booted off to America's bay the following week. But not before Johnny kissed my forehead as though touch were a cure.
You little soiled undergarment, he said.
And then nothing more. That was three years ago. I still spin into that fever light sometimes but nothing is as potent as it once was. This is what I tell the doctors who like to poke at me with glass instruments and feed me sedatives by the dozen. I get by on Government checks. Government checks have afforded me this room. Government checks have afforded me these words.
I still think of Johnny as I fall to sleep. He lives in my eyelids. My kaleidoscope man in green. I wonder what has become of him. Did he get out? Or perhaps he went with the sudden prompt of an enemy’s surprise truckload. Out like a rose plucked from a garden of posies.
Just like that.
Jasmine Ledesma is a writer based in New York. Her work has appeared in or is set to appear in places such as Crazyhorse, Rattle, and [PANK] among others. Her work has been nominated for Best of The Net and twice for the Pushcart Prize. She was named a Brooklyn Poets fellow in 2021. Her novella Shrine was listed as a finalist for the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize. Her poem was highly commended by Warsan Shire for the Moth Poetry Prize.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.