COMPEL

 

Let your voice wrap me

in the cool compress

of wonderment. It damps

my brow, washes fever

into runoff traps.

 

It is what you ask,

and what, for you, I do.

 

HOW MANY HEARTS HAVE YOU BROKEN?

 

Leather on the tongue,

luggage strap whose taste masks

the herbs beneath. Roasted,

fist-sized, pan juices supplied

by a well-used Leon Uris epic.

 

You throw the last of your clothes

into the trash compactor, prefer

to fill your mail pouch with frozen

foods, mismatched toys,

a half-burnt bowling trophy.

 

Hitchhike to the nearest train station

and hop a boxcar for somewhere,

anywhere. Pull out your travelling

snack, a carnivore’s waybread,

wrapped in amateur-tanned Samsonite.

 

SATURDAY NIGHT

 

I lie here on the overstuffed 

sofa with a Pernod and orange 

juice, a pad, a pen, 

 

and wait for the phone 

number on the scrap 

in my hand to not ring busy

 

When I get through

recorded radio-ready 

baritone informs me

in the jolliest of tones

no messages are available

 

so I’m doomed to another

night of boredom alone

with reruns of Twin

Peaks and a blank page

 

until I call again

ten minutes later

 

YES

after Bukowski

 

A man cradles

his newborn child

in his arms

 

I wonder

why most people

don’t find poetry

in this

 

 

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in The Virginia Normal, Credo Espoir, and Chiron Review, among others.

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