My advanced placement was bourbon
poured in a cough syrup bottle
I kept in my locker – amber in amber.
He said it first – spooktacular.
How spooky life became
as big men were shot down.
Conjugate a six ounce verb.
Conjugate this: our troubles come in tribes.
I expected it but she never threw up her arms
and cried, “Go, sell his bones.”
I crossed the dark floor stumbling
among the dead men.
The siege plowed through
seasons’ storehouses; engines
burned and rebuilt; a land seasoned with salt
sang dry-throated, a little cough, a chime.
I crisscrossed that darkened
room – always a night sea journey.
She gave me her hope which I gambled away,
gave me succor,
her delicate collarbone and thoroughbred ankles
to be bartered.
David P. Kozinski won the Delaware Literary Connection’s 2015 spring poetry contest. He received the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize, which included publication of his chapbook, Loopholes. Publications include Apiary, Cheat River Review, Fox Chase Review, glimmertrain.com, and Schuylkill Valley Journal. He has read at numerous venues in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.