Paint brushes do cartwheels between my fingers
like phantom limbs
beneath the torso of a double amputee.
I lost this one to time.
I lost this one to location.
I lost them all to another dirty career.
Deal the cards.
I peel film off my glass palette and save it in a jar;
Set it on the trophy case between the rattlesnake skin
and the death mask of Abraham Lincoln.
They paid me to do numbers,
so I did them;
Besides that, nothing.
Two pixels to the left.
Twelve pixels high.
They think I love it,
while the paint brushes do cartwheels over my viscera,
poking my lungs and scarring every membrane with engraving needles.
Dance on the diaphragm.
Dance on the ribcage.
Pull it out.
This one goes in the jar with the rattlesnake skin
and gets filled up with muddy turpentine.
Blood and pigment swirls at the bottom,
filling the empty cavities with stink, pavement, and color.
I have a sharp new engraving needle pointed at a map,
like a dart game in a smoky, bottle-only, bar.
I push whatever chips I have left to center.
Deal the cards. I'm all in.
I travel to another time.
I travel to another location.
I travel to my first dirty passion,
where money lines exit signs like moss on a castle.
This poem is finished.