By John Grey


I’ve long since given up on history.

From the beginning, it never liked me.

My revenge will have to wait until

the sun burns out, the earth implodes,

and Shakespeare and the jerk who

cut me off on Reservoir Avenue are on equal footing.

History was just a comfort zone for the human race anyway.

The cockroach doesn’t care who was the tsar of roaches

a hundred years ago.

A bear cub could someday make love to its sister

and not suspect a damn thing.

And it could be an alligator that finally turns the light out.

And yet I keep my eye on everyone known

since the year of my birth:

friends, enemies, lovers, family.

And I spend nights in frustrating dreams with them:

our lives intersect in bizarre circumstances.

Then I wake up vowing to live just a little bit longer

than the next man.

I need the victory.

So, on a regular basis,

I crack open a bottle of exercise and diet.

History takes pride in its names and its dates,

its battles and assassinations.

But, despite my best efforts,

I’ll end in a momentary squabble over

who will inherit the fruits of this lifetime.

Then, once the tears recede

and the forms are signed,

I won’t keep you.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.  

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