Venice Beach, 2016
A Rasta man hands me a Cd,
asks me what my name is.
Signs the disc while I listen on a walkman:
We are confident, we are confident
the track repeats.
Das me, das me, he repeats.
Right on, I say.
He hands me my signed copy,
Do you have a tip, anything?
Sorry I don’t…
He yanks the Cd from my hand,
walks away. Approaches
the people behind me.
They ignore him. He moves on
again & again, his tightly matted
dreadlocks swaying in the Pacific breeze,
We are confident
replays in my head—
I could learn how to not give a fuck
from this man. I walk the strip alone.
It’s late afternoon & the homeless sleep under
palm trees in the sand behind food stands,
artists & healers.
Outside the veil of white trees drapes the suburbs
as I crack my raging knuckles,
while she sits on the couch,
sipping some Vladi on the rocks.
I tell her no, but she keeps nagging.
Please, her lips quiver, please, have a drink.
Her eyes, somehow crazed, though I bought her this house,
remind me of my own after we said our vows.
How sour it feels to share a bed.
It’s been twenty years, and I can’t remember how she fucked.
I grab both of her arms
yank her from the couch.
I throw her to the floor, hold her
down and watch her try to wiggle free,
pausing after each impotent squirm.
When she spits in my face,
I press my foot to her chest, stomp down
until her breath, bullets of ice,
discharge from her heart.
I step away. Let her rest,
while I get my stash of oxy
from the garage. Blow a few pills.
O wife, so far, you’ve seen the kerosene
are you ready now for the cremation?
Aiden Angle is a residential counselor for individuals with intellectual disabilities, as well as the drummer of the band Moonspeaker. He earned a B.A. of Psychology from Carlow University. His poems have appeared in Pittsburgh City Paper Chapter and Verse and Pittsburgh Poetry Review.