Today's poem is by Aaron Anstett

Starts Out a Mouse

gnaws the wiring, the drunk inside him
sets an easy chair smoldering and doesn't notice,
as a man does, small flames crawling

out of his rib cage, under his shirt.
From where he sits they're dim as lanterns
in the distance, but he'd rather have spasms

or wet his pants or bleed till it splattered.
In restaurants there are napkins to hang
from his collar, but here, shuttling sideways

on the crowded train home, he must pull
his newspaper close, pretend he's really interested
in the sports page itself instead of its flickering.

He pulls the newspaper close to his torso and hopes
he goes out on his own, that the old woman sleeping
across the aisle keeps sleeping, doesn't wake up

to something unusual, a grocery store ad
moving with light, reduced prices dancing,
with him there behind them, on fire and quiet.

Copyright © 2007 Aaron Anstett All rights reserved
from Each Place the Body’s
Ghost Road Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved