John Grey

2 Poems

Dirge

bus station,

two a.m.

 

no dispatcher,

just tedious Musak -

 

warped bodies on scats,

heads on backpacks

 

cops digging ribs,

snarling,

"you got a ticket?"

 

I missed my connection -

the next one doesn't leave

until dawn -

 

the crazy are here,

so are the addicts

and a large woman

who blankets her child

with breasts -

 

I feel as if I'm

trapped inside a dirge

with all these strangers

as its low dispirited notes -

 

here comes the cop again -

an antiphon is called for

but a blackjack will have to do

Whoever You are. This is Me

Losing control.

Nerves like jumping beans.

Cell phone in one hand.

Bottle in the other.

Take a swig?

No better call someone quick

before these green crawly things

take over my face.

 

Call the president.

Call the state police.

Hello, operator.

Could I speak to God.

What's his number?

He's everywhere.

Why would he need a number?

 

Okay.

my ex then.

This time of day

you'll probably find her

pushing a baby carriage through the park.

Her name is...

How should I know.

She's the blonde.

That's all I remember.

 

Okay, forget it.

Just cancel the whole deal

and let me tell you something.

I mean, ask you something.

Who's going to pay for all those utility bills

piling up on my kitchen table?

Why is there no food in the cupboard?

How do I get up off the floor?

 

Look, I don't mean to upset you.

I thought talking to crazy people

was part of your job description.

Okay, so you're not the operator.

You're a wrong number.

You think you're a wrong number.

You should try calling me.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Stillwater Review and Big Muddy Review with work upcoming in Louisiana Review, Cape Rock and Spoon River Poetry Review.

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