Category: Poems

Affective

I drive along the interstate to my hometown and passthe houses that werethe houses of my friendsand enemies. I order food from the place where I used to work; the kids who work there now just don’t do the same job we did. I think about when I was that kid: standing in the window […]

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Discovering the Night

There must have been some kind of noise,a semi truck downshiftingas it speeds down an overpass on the nearby interstate,which sounds exactly the way a train in outer space would soundto a young boy on earth, who watches it streak across the sky like a shooting star. Whatever the noise was, it woke me;I looked […]

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Cool of a Summer Evening

Nights like this one repeat themselves; maybe it’s a Midwest thing, I don’t know.When it’s been humid and stifling for days on end,it’s sometimes interrupted by the cool of a summer evening. They remind me of nights before falling asleep,ten or twelve or fourteen years old,brothers and sisters out with friends or already asleep,the house […]

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A Cat Experiences a Thunderstorm, but Not for the First Time

We were cuddled up in bed togetherjust moments before I turned out the bedside lamp. When lightning lit the room again shortly after, you had already disappeared from my side; I hadn’t felt your departure, could not feel your absence. As the heavy roll of thunder follows, I wonder if you recognize it for what […]

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Sunday

Something happened this morning, when I sat in a café.An old man at the table next to me,who wore a hose attached to an oxygen tank,removed it to get up and walk to the restroom. For as long as I’ve had jobs,I’ve had to work each Sunday morning.Now that’s changed; I am freeto enjoy the […]

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Self Esteem

I saw a kid in the coffee shop today,probably late high school or early college age.He looked a bit like the kids I knew when I was his age. They were confident, affluent,self-possessed. I couldn’t sit in a room with thembecause I was insecure, poorly dressed, and impulsive.They could see it written all over my […]

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The Fulcrum

I sat at the mirror and studied myself,trying desperately to find the musclethat would allow me to wiggle my ears. I held my fingers at my temples,smiled, frowned, and adjusted my eyebrowsin every conceivable position,but my ears didn’t move, even slightly. I broke a sweat in the process,my girlfriend came and went witha disapproving glance, […]

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Boogeyman

When it comes in, it reminds me of my little brother’s girlfriend, sixteen years old: how she holds his hand tightly and followsclosely behind him as we proceed through the haunted house. But it’s not difficult for my brother to understand the panicshe feels as she rounds each new corner. I can’t begin to imaginehow […]

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Sleeping Alone

Some nights I sleep alone, not because there’s no one here with me in bed. She sleeps next to me in my bed, but I knowthat she’s thousands of miles away, on the other sideof an ocean, with people I don’t know. I do know their faces, because she’s takenout albums and stacks of loose […]

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The Smog

We headed down to the record store,somewhere in the Hollywood Hills.We found a parking garage and wound our way up.At the top, I had to be the tourist—taking advantage of the height for a photo.I was shocked, looking through the lensat the trees in the distance, or between them,when the outlines of buildings became apparent,peaking […]

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