Category: Poems

Buffet

I imagine myself a part of a communityas I step into the restaurant—a Chinese buffetin an off-campus strip-mall. I just had my hair cutby a man whose shop has been there sinceseventy, and I plan on going back because it reminds me of home. The waitress points me to my table—a booth with a bench […]

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Mousetrap

I hear the trap snap shut;by the time I walk infrom the next room,the little gray-brown mouse—fat from food he scrounged,like the chocolate cake uncoveredthat still has tiny footprints in the icing—those same little feet now scramble,desperate to push the trap away. The trap doesn’t move;the little guy’s efforts quickly lose strength.His back legs kick, […]

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Semper Fi

They all seem to have the same posture,like they left the hanger in their shirt,or they’re trying to peek over a refrigerator. Then there’s the haircut,strangest on my cousin’s head.All his life I knew him to havethe biggest, thickest afro I’ve ever seen on a skinny white kid. With his hair cut, he takes himself […]

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The First Time I Nearly Fell

It was the fourth of Julyand I was still a child.At least, a child enough to be still enchanted by the town celebration’s lemon shake-ups and bingo tent,and the rare sense of belonging that I felt in our community—eating pork-chop sandwiches and listening to live music—’cause the whole town was there. I wandered through Pells […]

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I Want to be Disgusting

when she looks at me like I amalready, sitting on the couchwith a bowl of ice cream or cereal Goddammitif I’m going to be punished anywaywhy not really let myself go? I could really stand to gorge myselfon double cheeseburgers dripping with greaseor donuts and coffee ’til I’m sate-sedatedeyes as glazed as the fritters and […]

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First Horse in the First Race

…second horse in the second race. That’s what the guy told mewhen I said I was going to the trackI don’t know him well, but I knew that he liked to betso I kept his words in mind when we went to the track that day it was my first time, I’m sure I’ll never […]

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Two Older Couples Visit the Restaurant on a Late Summer Evening

The first walked through the doorbeaming with pride, and eagerexplaining to the hostess, then the busboy“It’s our anniversary,”before asking for a larger table—the two-top doesn’t do the occasion justice shortly after, the other enters, arm-in-armhe’s holding her close and whispering something to hershe tries to suppress her giggles long enough to say“table for two, please”the […]

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This Poem Is Not about Making Love

When we get all of our clothes off, I start thinking aboutthat girl I work with—she’s half-Asian, that’s good enough—orthat girl in my class who wore her skirt too short one day orthe one who got me off a couple of times last winter, but didn’t want to date me: I could’ve married that girl. […]

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F is for Failure

Oh, the frustrationSitting at the desk with blank pages, fresh sheetsand a pen, filledwith ink that will not flow Focus, I tell myselfFind something to capture but I know that I already have it, it fills me so full that nothing will spill outI want to force it, Freeze it with wordsBe a poet Fuck […]

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Smoky Thoughts

The thin, bright blue waves of air roll in my direction,wisps of breath that escape your lungs and cross the table between us.The familiar scent tickles, teases, draws me close in spite of my repulsion. The sensations creep down my arms and legs like unwelcome memories,thoughts that grew light and thin as they evaporated, somewhere […]

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