Posts Tagged ‘danger’

Paper

May 22, 2017

 

by Vera Lisa Smetzer

 

You write the worst part
is not kids shooting off
handguns and Uzis
loud enough, close enough,
to make your neck sweat.
There’s a silence in the alley
when you know someone’s heart
has stopped and you shiver
all night. Once on a full moon
you stole a shovel and dug up
dirt to plant sweet potatoes.
People thought you were burying
a body and came after midnight
lugging metal detectors
to check for jewelry.
Before this city, the only bodies
you knew were bending over
small town pool tables when you
hustled them for money. You loved
how their skin glistened in the bar
room light when they started
to lose. Too bad you say,
you don’t have any. Living in
the city is high maintenance.
Worst part is exhaustion
thrusting its fist in your face.
You stomach the stench
of scrubbing public toilets
at Greyhound bus stations now.
Still you dream of ripe fruit
in summer, tending hives,
planting rows of potatoes
on a farm, anywhere. Some days,
fear runs so fast through
you, it feels like bees
hum in your blood. I check
for a return address, there
isn’t any. You continue
about “small pleasures.”
In one store, you read
pages and partial chapters,
move onto another store,
you’ve mapped routes so you can
finish books. To survive,
you write poems and stories,
letters on toilet paper,
like this one. You hope I
don’t mind, say you’ll
write again. You don’t
sign your name.

 

Copyright © 2017 by  Alvera Lisa Smetzer

 

 

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