C.J. Miles

This Crooked Soft Something

My heart tells itself stories it doesn’t
Believe: words are kind. Literature never
Bleeds. Passion is an overachiever.
The sky grows damp
While the grass gets an erection,
Curving ever so slightly to the left.
Everything falls through dirt.
A horse sheds its heart and no
One notices. To care is to
Howl in reverse. To care is everything
Before and after how.
Or is that love?
Finding a radio frequency
In the desert, a painting in the shed,
Stripped to its last coat,
A dandelion asleep
At the wheel.
Crooked boy next
To a crooked light pole.
A Verizon bill after sexting
The moon. Comfort excavated from a skull
Uncovered from the dirt
It fell through decades before.


With Dream

I woke up with a tattoo that said I drink and write written in tribal on the small of my lower back. It was the morning after one of those nights where people say It was one of those nights. You were there, dressed like another one of those nights. You took a shower in the sink and changed into an ellipsis. We wanted to feel like Jesus, wanted to understand birth and how salvation always comes with an asterisk, so we married our wrists on a comforter made out of hay. Outside was some loud thunder, drunk from everything the night had put in it. Inside was fluorescent. You unfolded the wings that ran along your shoulder blades and grazed the hay of the bedspread. I hoped you wouldn’t fly away. You promised you never would.


C.J. Miles lives in Iowa with his wife. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Forage, Moonglasses Magazine, Yellow Chair Review, Five 2 One Magazine, and Jet Fuel Review, among others. Follow him on Twitter at @cjmilespoet