Forrest Rapier

Twyckenham Notes
Issue Fourteen
Winter 2021-22

Freshly Squeezed

                          orange juice in a teacup, two fat blunts
                          rolled-and-ready—Sour Diesel is king.
This toasted life: spent and spindrift,

halfway-to-plastered in a braided hammock,
                          listening to mosquito drillbits hunker down
                          in razor palms as artificial waterfalls pulse;

                          the paradise paradigm.
May my life be unintelligible and glib.
May each rampant lizard genuflect and hyper-flex

                          within these hidden days, curled
                          in glade shade like grass snakes
I lose sight of—the hours slip. This Floridamyth

Existence-Fleck complex you’ve adopted
                          has spiraled totally out of control.
                          Enough with the gator inflatables,

swim wings, and listless lists of plastic scrap
each careless sketch leaves behind. Talk about
                          survivor guilt—every turtle egg

buried warm within the dune floe on Neptune
                          Beach could be the last one of its kind.
What do you want most in the world, Peace Frog?

Tell Amber the prominent blue vein in her eyelid
                          rises like that primordial-indescribable
                          ember color sparking one second before flame.

                          When I was a boy, I wandered barefoot
through a dazed red dawn, lost my way
away from home and found

the endlessly erased map of dune-stretched
ions swirling my heavy iris—thanks is a word
like a carpenter ant crawling up skyscraper:

                          strong enough.

FORREST RAPIER has appeared in Best New Poets, Dead Mule, Levee, Red Rock Review, and many other journals. He has received fellowships from Looking Glass Falls, Sewanee Writers Conference, and has also held writing residencies at the University of Virginia and Brevard College. He recently received his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he now lives.

Cover image by GJ Gillespie.
© Twyckenham Notes 2022. All rights reserved.