fire on cuyahoga lake // Adrian Belmes

i love you like i love chief wahoo’s ten cent beers.

you are the fist and the twenty pounds

of hot dogs hurled in wild abandon at the umpire.

i am the beer-soaked grass, and you spill

another happy barrel on my green.

we’re the riot police, and the riot,

ten thousand dollars of damages pressed,

ten decades of industrial waste,

lit up in an instant,

extinguished in another ten score.

you are the flames and i am the lighter

falling out of the shortstop’s hand,

the student streaker in the outfield,

and the texas fistfight that started us all.

give me crude oil, a tall twelve ounces

to slick the city like a stick of dynamite,

one thousand layoffs and five stories high.

you’re my war drum way out in left field,

six beer limited and sixty cents richer.

our drunk mothers flash their breasts for the railroad bridge,

while our fathers tear the padding off the walls.

we’ll be hauling off the tap on the beer truck,

bases stolen and never returned,

the organ still playing as the ball game burns down.

Adrian Belmes is a trans, gay, Jewish Ukrainian poet and book artist residing currently in San Diego. He is a senior editor for Fiction International, editor in chief of Badlung Press, and vice president of State Zine Collective. He has been previously published in SOFT CARTEL, Philosophical Idiot, and elsewhere. You can find him at or @adrian_belmes.

Image by Andrew Borgen

#vol8 #poetry #adrianbelmes #nostalgia #home #fire

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