Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Poem Screamed in a Phone Booth in the Dormitory Lobby

Better get a grip, he'd say, better use a mop
Blue yarn yellow rolling bucket
Dump the gray water down the hopper
Something warlike warms itself by the fire,
downing mug after toxic mug
Your ass is grass, he used to say
I could never tell how smart he was because
he would constantly downplay it
with the self-deprecation of the truly arrogant
Not that I was innocent, I certainly ranted
over the phone enough times
to warrant some embarrassment
How was I any different
Everything in our magic circle
bordered on the maniacal,
balanced on the rim of suicidal.
Our fingers froze at poverty’s fringes,
or got scorched on the vents that breathed their fumes
into every carpeted room
We would’ve ventured further into the dark
but something always clawed us back
None of it was intentional
The grass stains, the mud pies,
the scorched brick and Pizza Huts
There was love, I shouldn't discount that
but it felt hollow as a Wiffle ball
lobbed into the brambles, heavy as the paper kites
that wouldn't rise above the vacant lot
that was the entire world to us

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