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Poetry By
  Troy Cunio

Published on: 11/25/2015
Cosmic Forces beyond Our Comprehension

A lizard dropped from a treebranch
onto my windshield
at a stoplight today.

His reptilian eyes were emotionless
and his suction cup toes were pure fear
but his smile said, Kowabunga!

I rolled down my window to grab him
but he jumped to the passenger side
as the light changed.

His frail green body turned and flopped
in the windtunnel of an '05 Accord's acceleration.

By the next intersection I was beginning to feel
a strange affection for the little guy.

When I was a kid I'd capture lizards just like him,
keep them in empty fish tanks, feed them
lettuce and butterflies until they escaped or died.
Now, the way he clung to my car like a surfer
hanging ten on the gnarliest of storm surges, this lizard
looked like redemption for my crimes against reptile-kind.

I slowed to a turtle-crawl, ignored the honks
until I came to a bagel shop driveway.

I stopped the engine, but my passenger
kept quivering at roughly 2000 RPM.

I grabbed him by the torso— years of practice herp snatching,
no escape artist appendages twisting in my fingertips—
and dropped him.
My buddy scurried off not only with his tail but a tale
to tell his spawn—

the time he mastered the machine of swift squishy death, swallowed the force of a hurricane like a housefly,
proved that not all hairy giants of inconceivably
titanic proportion are totally indifferent
to the plight of lesser mortals, the time
he became a legend, a Promethean
among anoles.

As I pulled out of the parking lot
— and I swear it was an accident—
I heard the faintest crunch beneath my tires.

Published on: 9/23/2015

I want to run
my hands over your calves
as if my fingertips were hammers,
my nails gentle chisels on stone.
As if your flesh were marble
and I am freeing you
from a block of flesh.

Love is a subtractive art.
Every conversation or caress
another movement closer
to what we want
each other to be.

I want to admire your eyes as if
they could never break their gaze,
never look away from mine.

I want to put my ear to your collarbone
as if your marrow was of the same
substance as your skin.
As if I could hear the spaces
between heartbeats,
and they lasted forever.

I want to whisper secrets to you
when I wake in the night,
knowing that neither of us
will remember them in the morning.

I want to kiss you
like I'm surprised
your lips are warm.

Published on: 9/17/2015
Notes from the Promised Land: Drive

I-15, about ten miles outside of
Kenosh. Been tailgating
a Walmart truck for
two hours. Stop
for gas at a rustic log cabin with
a Subway logo over the door.
The cottonwoods sprouting from
the mountains like a
five o'clock shadow.
The dust smelling like dinosaur
bones. Blue haired
girl with canyon skin
frowning at passerby. Think of
skinwalkers. Think of coyotes. Think of
history. Buy a cream filled Idaho
Spud, World Famous, Trademark.
Take a bite. Think of the desert.
Start the engine. Think of sandstone.
Think of stratigraphy. Drive.

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