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Wally has ten days
more or less
piss-yellow skin
an awful pungent smell
cirrhosis oozes
from every deepened pore

He gimps out
of the hospice
hisses at the sun
takes the bus to Jericho
transfers to another bus
on a dehydrated
four-hour commute
to Shangri-La

Withdraws his life’s savings
of eighteen thousand dollars
foams at the mouth
mesmerized by the dice

The dealer in burgundy
twitches at the mustard yellow
the stench
eyes widen
at the mound of chips

Do you want water Wally?
No, Jack Daniels
Yes sir

Wally plays past dawn
casino empties
hookers wouldn’t touch
Wally wouldn’t want
he stares at the wheel
magnificent God of numbers
leers at him
tumbles over and over

Wally misses the blazing red mass
as it pulls in the day
could have warmed the cold
that creeps slowly up his stick legs – could have

Wally pisses himself
sneakers squish in a puddle of urine
he keeps at the dice
with his insatiable thirst
numbers rock through him
until he collapses
at the craps table
with fourteen dollars left
to his name

New York, 2021


Rita planned a party for us
she called Diego to drop off
a bag of drugs
she would fuck him later
or he could stop by the party
walk around
even make some deals

He dragged his fake leg
like a tree trunk
Rita thought he packed the drugs
within the foam padding
of his prosthetic
he had a lazy eye - a gimp eye
it stared out to the left
his other eye
black as night
stared into a person’s soul
gave them the heebie-jeebies
as he limped around
like a sci-fi character

He was six-foot-two
lurched over you
his mouth watered for Rita
I envisioned her pulling
him around on a leash
his gimp and lurch
dragged behind her
as I dug into the baggie
he brought me
for my big eighteen
and poured white powder
onto a mirror provided by Rita

Cut and scraped
cut and scraped

Thought I was
a reincarnated sculptor
from the fifteenth century
this was my packed plaster of Paris
I worked it through
perfect lines
in both width and length

when Rita strolled up
the gimp hovering behind
dollar bill in her hand

Crisp and rolled to perfection
by Diego
who knew these things
and my sculpted lines
inhaled deeply
into Rita’s nostrils
for your eighteenth
she said
as she gently kissed my forehead
and carried on
with Diego

New York, 2021




Hold your heart in my grip
sick with fever
I tighten
dig my nails in
you can curse all you want
in the end I have this hold it’s the power of pussy
whether I am a dried up nymph
or a wasted away addict
you still come home

Saliva drips as you sleep
it mesmerizes me
I want to dab it
I don’t
let it dribble all the way
down your neck

Why bother
I think
as I awaken the gorge within me
today is good to start
to shoot up again
although the grimy surface
of our kitchen counter feels safe
I gotta leave this hovel
we both can’t waste away

My innards are sick with rot
if I needed a lung
a kidney
or a blood transfusion
lord knows I couldn’t look your way
I glance down
see my gut
don’t see anything below
for all I know what’s down there
could be hanging to the floor from
multiple births - multiple everything

NA list
I’m on it again
when I was born
they put my name up top
said this bitch gonna take it to the end

here I am
forty going on seventy-five
still taking it
every place possible

New York, 2021

Donna Dallas studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School under William Packard, founder and editor of the New York Quarterly.  Lately, she is found in Horror Sleaze Trash, Beatnik Cowboy and The Opiate among many other publications. She recently published her first novel, Death Sisters, with Alien Buddha Press. She currently serves on the editorial team for Red Fez and New York Quarterly.

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