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Site design: Skeleton

Sample Poems by Charles K. Carter


Acid decayed the remains /
Almost no meat left on bones
Found in a blue cooler by
a green pond / / Etchings on the
skull revealed its victim's name / /
While most wounds / Even in death
Fade in time / Scar tissue turns
soft and maggoty and white
and then it disappears / But
etchings on the skull remain / /
In a millennia what
will those digging up these scarred
remains think of us?

Gay Man Found in Southern Illinois Lake

Date of Examination: 7/1/2003

Age: 34
Sex: M
Length: 74"
Weight: 160 #
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Race: Caucasian
Circumcised: Y
Identifying Markers: Tattoo on shoulder (rainbow heart)

Manner of Death: Homicide
Cause of Death: Anoxic anoxia

Findings: The external and internal bruising on the respiratory tract demonstrates excessive force consistent with strangulation by hand.

Toxicology: No irregularities

Other Notes: Body was slightly bloated from being submerged in water, though being enclosed in large suitcase slowed the decay.

Y'all Come Back

Y'all Come Back reads the Hennepin bar front,
welcoming two young men to The Saloon,
as the locals declare it. They bring in
the New Year's with music of the past year:
Prince, ABBA, Blondie, Rick James, Madleen Kane.
They drink, they dance, they kiss, they let loose in
a place where they are allowed to blend in,
a place where they can flame without limits.
After the countdown and before last call
is called, they make their way out the back door,
embracing the Minnesota cold, the
magic, the beauty in a white New Year's:
endless possibilities. "Faggots," the
two police officers laugh with nightsticks
in hand. When they leave the bloodied young men,
they tip their hats and they jeer, "Y'all come back,
ya hear?"

Dirt Roads

Forget the Bible
thumpers. Forget the sideways
glances and whispered-

too-loud judgments. Give
me freedom. Give me dirt roads
and a girl at my

side. Give me endless
Nebraskan fields and night stars.
Give me dirt roads and

give me love. Give me


When a dirty clan of boys
crowd the scorpion in a
corner and set a ring of
fire around her, no one blames
the scorpion for splitting
open and striking herself
with her very own venom,
taking her own life.

This is but a myth passed on
for generations and
generations. To her own
venom, the scorpion
is immune. When these dirty
clans of boys learn that she
can't be bullied into taking
her own life, they torture her
and finish the job for her,
ripping off her stinger,
scorching her tail with fire,
stabbing her fighting frame
with her own removed limb,
kicking her into walls.

Either way,
when clans of boys grow up
to be clans of men and
they want to see blood spill,
they will smash her skull into
the pavement.
They will.