2 POEMS by Brian Beatty

Punk Noir Magazine

1-

Wrinkles

Local police sirens  

crescendo in the distance.

The full moon 

hangs like a coin about to drop

through silver treetops.

I have no memory

of how I wound up here. 

That’s my alibi.

People disappear at night, 

so I’m left to whisper in my own ear, 

“Settle down, stranger. Breathe.”

I might as well be 

another mannequin posed 

in the shadows

of a broken shop window 

modeling what passes

for fashion in this town. 

Stiff, asymmetrical wrinkles 

give me away.

###

2.

Natural Causes

I coughed wilted

carnations of blood

into a handkerchief

my late grandfather

had monogrammed 

with his initials.

Or maybe it’s a gift

I’ve inherited. I’ve been

dying long enough

I should know. 

###

Brian Beatty is the author of the poetry collections Magpies and Crows; Borrowed Trouble; Dust and Stars: Miniatures; Brazil, Indiana: A Folk Poem; and Coyotes I Couldn’t See. Hobo Radio, a spoken-word album of Beatty’s poems featuring original music by Charlie Parr, was released by Corrector Records in January 2021.