‘a trick of innocence’ & ‘northern border’ by Michael MacKinnon

soft cartel april 2018

a trick of innocence

she’s joined his stable
been here four months now
hooked on the once high of rock
twenty one
really, that’s what she says
though she hints more at seventeen
matters little really

she does his work
panning and whoring
so he gets his fix
he’s just one more parasite
owed a living by life
the one she can provide

it’s eleven fifteen
she works the bar corner
under his watchful eye

the innocence not quite gone from her voice
and it turns the trick
someone else to prey on her youth
intervention is needed to save her
but does anybody care
certainly not the johns

surely not him

northern border

winging north from fargo north dakota
looking to cross the border
hit the peg before nightfall
a cold beer waits for me
and a woman named billy
who i met once
in a previous life
when gardening kids
and working the grind
were the things that mattered
when wanting to be storyteller
was a story i told
when all i wandered
were the paths of boyhood dreams

the prairie sun melts toward the horizon
layering the dash in crimson
grass fire smoke hazes the sky
and the daytime’s warmth
cedes the air to the chill
of the springtime night
and in the twilight interlude
before the stars step forth
the border arrives
and i am home again

or as close as i ever get

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