Of Thistles, Thorns, and Other Defensive Mutations

as a poet
I feel obligated
to inform you
sir, or madam reader
there is no serenade
betwixt moonshadow, and
morning din
no symphony amid the
romantic picturesque
though I wish there were
a colorful panoply
to look upon
so, there it is
moments careen into one another
like so many dull-grey commuters
smack, traffic jams
and we do our best to make sense
of it
all the glib nonsense
compressed down to
anecdote reconstructions
it takes more heart, perhaps
to leave it plain

one late night when
my gout
had pained me less enough
at least that I could take a walk
for fresh air
3am to a nearby 24-hour
convenience outlet, I
had enough money
to spend on orange juice
and cigarettes
the shopping portion of my trip
would have taken all of five minutes
were it not for
the cashier blithely grinning
like some love-lorn imbecile
we exchanged “good day’s”
I, begrudgingly, he
with that vapid comprehension
I envied him his nonprescription drugs
a passing thought
shaken loose
outside by the garbage can
removing that ridiculous plastic
static cling to fingertip, nuisance
my countenance betrayed me
a smile
which as fate would have it
a woman caught a glimpse of, and
she then offhandedly remarked
something to the effect of
how it seemed that I was having
an evening as much like hers
to which I aped
a non-reply “maybe”
from beneath a hooded scowl
that prompted her to laugh
then I remembered
how liquored kisses taste, sour like
piss and barstool ashtray gingivitis
sweat glands dripping alcohol
without another word
I turned
on my heel
no loathing today
I’ll take
my suffering in stride.

© Emerys Watchel, 2015 All rights reserved.


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