Today's poem is by Jeffrey Morgan


If this town had a mascot, it would be the man

with auditory hallucinations

who hangs out on Eldridge; more specifically,

how he makes us look away.

He's so spoken through he's nothing

but mouths and mouths, precipitous

until he shuts them by kissing everything

quiet with a needle's tongue.

Right now he's got the gods sleeping

like lions all around him,

got that good lean going.

I hope it's soft and warm in his invisible wind.

His silence seems to ask:

What have you built with your sadness?

Everybody knows it's easy

to score in this town,

in this country. The canopy of each evening

grows, muffling darkly and blessedly

the day's bright demands.

I watch this man from where I sit

in the fancy beer shop across the street

because I have it on good authority

once you make it

you just have to start faking it all over again.

I'm here to say: I can do that.

I'm here to say: thank goodness

for the very dark beers

that pour like night, smell of coal smoke

and once inside us smolder: the process

like a fire in reverse. Thank goodness for the train

whistle shrieking and connecting

arriving to leaving, the living to the dead,

even if that means in the municipal style

of a devoted citizen, I'm looking away again.

Copyright © 2016 Jeffrey Morgan All rights reserved
from Poetry Northwest
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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