An Outbreak of Discernable Difference

There is a picture of us I never took. In it you are sitting in an empty tub, dressed in silkworms, as the scent of rum seeps down the drain. Blood is in the soil of yesterday & it is here again today, too. When I forget where you are, I will forget I am lost. A river crossing is never a river crossing if you have no one to cross it with. It’s like the commercial says: We’ll leave the lights on for you. & so I leave the possibility of possibilities in a shallow grave outside of Fort Drum, with a headstone that reads YOU ALWAYS KISSED WITH YOUR EYES OPEN EVEN WHEN YOU USED TONGUE.

Notes on Never Reading Dante

God says, Could you please be quiet? I do, of course. How can you argue with the voice of God? & so I quiet everything around me: the weather that brought the weather carrying the storm that blew away the light pole & the sign on the light pole that read LOST CAT REWARD OFFERED GOES BY CAT LITTLE GIRL CRYING UNTIL CAT IS FOUND PLEASE HELP SINGLE PARENT THREE JOBS I AM MY OWN TEARS. I quiet the traffic outside, the dreams you are haunting & the wolves doing their jobs. I quiet my heart: the beating so slow eight people think I’m dead, three attempt to give me mouth-to-mouth, & my wife begins casket shopping on Amazon.

I’m Selling My Lungs so I Can Afford to Buy More Cigarettes

I’m in love with drinks that stain my teeth. I’ve decided to sell my organs on Craigslist, along with the pleather loveseat & lamp I’ve owned for a year but never plugged in. The Craigslist Ad promises that the lamp works. I’m pretty sure it does. Hell, it’s still got the tag attached & only three scratches on the base. 


C.J. Miles is the author of What Is Anything Without Pandas, forthcoming from Ampersand Books. His poetry has appeared in (b)OINKThe Penn ReviewJet Fuel ReviewFive 2 One Magazine, and Gravel, among others. He can be found online at