Andie Klarin

When I find myself remembering Richard Ramierez


I try to picture his body before the police came
the good people of San Diego turning him to a liquid
which evaporated up from the asphalt where they left him
burning on the street except the dead teeth which so scattered
from his living mouth that taking them was barely stealing
as they were brown and porous and when planted in their gardens
they grew to wine grapes and citrus flowers and other sweet things
that take well to the harsh wall of heat carried south by the Santa Ana winds
and in the taking they were saving their daughters who did not know better
than to follow the scent of rot when it puffed up around the schools
or showed up at night to lick the screen doors of their bedrooms
and left spit behind in the netting like small diseased crystals
when I think of the man, I try to think of my mother instead
how she must have been at fourteen when she ate the beast
with her angry neighbors who all together turned his body
to grey mush to a cotton ball covered in blood to a lamb
I try to picture it, the dark red meat of him raw
the Southern California summer cooking him
the stench of black road and brown rot
rising like smoke



Ernest drives me home


It is a summer night and he is a stranger
and his car is silver and it smells of anise
and old fruit and the pine tree cut out covers
the mirror with its teal cardboard body
as if it is checking between its teeth and
Ernest thinks I am my mother so he calls me
my mother and I am my mother I built this body
out of my body and when he touches my leg
he feels copper it is cold and precious
and his wet hand will rust me to green
he thinks I am older than I am so he talks
about death like our shared son
he shifts me so I can watch
how fast we pass through the yellow lights
my leg sticks to the faux leather seats
and there is no sex in the slow painful peeling
of my thighs off something they do not belong to
he tells me he is named after a man
who died at the hands of a man and I nod
as if it has never occurred to me to kill before
but it has and as the light turns red there is a stillness
in the glove compartment there is some scared girl’s body
stuffed in there but I am a woman to Ernest
and he assures me what he does will not hurt me
he calls me precious metal he drops me off
as far out of the rain as he can as to keep me
from rusting and I run to my room and he drives off
into the same night from which he came




Andie Klarin is a queer Jewish poet. They were born and raised in Southern California but are currently studying and living in Indianapolis. In their spare time, they enjoy cooking, running, reading, writing, and torturing their roommates with these various hobbies. You can find them on Twitter @Andie_Klarin, @andieklarin on Instagram, or in real life somewhere in the woods.