Distressed Boyfriend Khakis

Martha Silano


sending distress signals
emitting smoke burning flares

distressed boyfriend khakis
unlike perfect khakis pressed

distressed cutting edge
shabby chic raw hide sticks

stones dried grasses
relaxed boyfriend fit

distressed boyfriend releasing
firing pin one-minute intervals

raising lowering both arms slowly
distressed details vary heavy

abrasions creased ripped lived-in
enzyme stone-washed casually

cuffed distressed boyfriend
mayday mayday mayday

shave fabric disposable razor
blow lint prevent clogging repeat

distressed synthetic boyfriend
IED shirt melting skin

hand-held ariel burning barrel
girlfriend in boyfriend’s ripped repair

hiding in one of eight pockets distressed
girlfriend dressed like boyfriend

in boyfriend-like khakis girlfriend
forming the letter Y girlfriend

adrift degree location GPS continuous
grave strobe grave blasts grave weft

distressed beacon boyfriend
girlfriend screaming SOS


Martha Silano headshotMartha Silano’s books include The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, recipient of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, and Reckless Lovely (Saturnalia Books 2014). She also co-edited, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press 2013). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Blackbird, AGNI, New Ohio Review, Sou’wester, and Orion. Martha edits Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.



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