Three Poems by Bryan Price 

All My Friends

measuring myself against photographs of 

people who look brushed against the grain of 

their own travails like they know how to play 

the piano not so much intuitively but with an 

ear for watery sounds like car horns in the rain 

or the natural reverb of public restrooms and 

then later after it gets dark we play one together 

on a tarp laid out beneath us really a chord 

organ she taught me to play like an ape to repeat 

scraps of choruses to scrape together and 

get by on nothing in a systematic way that involves 

discipline only what the body wants at a certain 

point the laughter is suspended to set the whole 

machine on fire lay down and self-immolate…




it’s just as easy to be broken to be disappeared like air into other air fire into other fire water into other water and so on—these are the memories of last rites given from when we were allowed to die at home and then buried under an avalanche of little lord Jesus the altar or mantle made up with decorations of Him in all his oneiric forms no one fed on peaches alone or almonds or even vermin we stopped the truck to chase wild turkeys into the brush sliced the lamb’s belly green as spring spurting running onto our hands and feet and then we hung a goat from a tree took off its skin shared him as the gods do with the rain not pausing for a second to reflect on Guernica or other symbols of plague overtaking the atlas




was that an atomic disaster or just 

the sun reflecting off the windows of a train 

I am on the toilet reading about obscure saints 

I thought you'd be coming in the dead 

of night like a fractal or ghost  

but there's quite a few moments of daylight left 

she asked why are you taking that lighter into 

the garage with you that's how marriages end 

and I put something pastoral on something 

with feathers instead of a skin I learned to play 

the guitar sometime between Bush stealing 

the election and 9/11 around the time I was 

writing the abortion story I have everything in 

milk crates from then it's all in pink ink (the 

cheapest I could find) someone needs to 

write the history of nostalgia from stranded 

soldiers to the end of men and then sketch the 

moon and its oceans for me or maybe just its 

phases from dark navy to the most pathologically 

intense neon (or the other way around) no 

one knows why I'm like this once the men in 

my family put a gun into my ear like I was 

the antelope hung my body over the Colorado 

river it's vein of blood red sand opening 

bright like the creation of continuous time

Bryan D. Price's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Posit, the UCity Review, Diagram, Oxidant | Engine and elsewhere. He lives in San Diego with his wife, a dog, and a cat named for Pina Bausch.