Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

A Kiss for Judas by Joe Russo

A Kiss for Judas

The diner was unusually empty,
   For that Saturday night,
   But we were unusually up at 2
   In the morning because you,
   And we all had a part in this I guess,
   Suggested we head out somewhere because
   You were hungry and how could we all
   Ignore you, with your sleepy voice, and droopy brown eyes
   That were always glazed over even when not high.
But you looked at us –
   The diner was on the corner of Redwood and Burke
   And you led us there, Moses,
   A mother duck, and we
   Worshiped you, the very ground you stepped on,
   We stepped over.
When you looked at us –
You sat next to her, the Eve to your Adam,
   The loincloth covered your genitals and
   I was angry, shocked more like it, but
   Getting high always gets me like that because
When you looked at us –
You told us to get whatever we liked,
   Anything on the menu, food, drink, combined,
   Whatever and I was in a hankering for a hamburger,
   Cola, cheese, fries, grease, oil,
   The worst things for me even before I met you.
But then you looked at me –
You told me to check the restrooms,
Clear, everything has to clear,
   I would wash your feet with my hair, my messiah, just
   Because you
Looked at me.
You looked at me, at her, nodded, a quick
Drop of the head,
A wink of the eye,
And I reached inside my
Coat pocket.
      Pulled out the grey steel,
    Wrapped my finger, index,
      Around the piece that gets pushed back,
     Angry tension, shocked,
      Eyes wide, were they scared?
Did they know, at least something,
Your girls, she and her and I,
About love?


Joe Russo has been published in Metaphor Magazine, Nowhere Journal, Event Horizon, Typehouse Magazine, Door is A Jar Magazine, Spillwords, Degenerate Literature and Centum Press’s anthology ONE HUNDRED VOICES. You can find more of his work over at his website –

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