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
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