I am eighty-one he is eighteen cusses in his sleep
has a Wolverine inked across his face
I’m so crazy about his inkwork and biceps
that the first thought each morning is
He belongs to the universe not to me
it won’t be long before he’s reabsorbed
he’ll only see me twice a week so life with Truong
is life without Truong I sleep in a wood and iron requiem
there he rocks on a rocking chair inside his mother
slurping juice in promiscuous soccer gear
he has a low-income way of standing at urinals
or snapping “Not in my mouth dood.”
Sometimes he’ll pop up barefoot out of the dark
with pizza and Corona Light and sing Beach Boys tunes
in a style he calls “midnight”
I hire a Riverside private eye to tail him
I have enough money to know the truth
because I need my wolverine
there is no me in me
even when he opens his shoes and legs
and agrees to stay the night and we wake up
giddy like we’re both eleven
Truong and I spend hours planning his new tattoo
in the Norwegian mountains of my head
or by the waves of an unnatural sea
Truong offers me Vietnamese tea Truong cries out “Holy shit
they’re like maggots!” takes a spatula once and for all
squishes the embryos out of my hair.


Alejo Rovira Goldner left Spain in the 1990s to settle in Southern California, where he writes poetry and plays, usually publishing under the name “Alex M. Frankel.” His play Nights in Squirt City, Phukenburg was given a production at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2018, and his short story collection Flame at Door and Raisin came out this year. He composes poems by putting newspaper articles and classic poems through the “blender” of Google Translate and reverse-text generators, then printing out twenty pages of “nonsense” in which he finds much poetry.