the poetry knook, the poetry of stephen m. james

The night after

The dial-tone returned, and I lied silently down
re-associating us into singular pronouns,
surely, I’ll wake from what my subconscious’s unwound,
for yet no tear or murmuring of sound,
but this phone’s clock blinks only three here,
maturity or just callousness as I fear?
Can’t help but call grace, mother–
forgiven, madness today, forgiving madness another,
forcing resentment resolved
by persons entirely uninvolved,
waiting for our critics critiquing,
sick of “but so sweet and cute”– as if comforting?!
and rehearsing witnessing words of an evangelist,
cramming faith into a one minute gist.
The night after–kettle corn is popping,
adhering to uncle’s doc’s rule of no butter sopping.
Launching kernels into the air, I catch 22:
if I hate or love, I consume you.
If you must consume me to live alone, again
Then, eat and let the rest of our lives begin.


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© 1993-2024 by Stephen M. James.