See, there’s this light, and from where you sit
you can’t determine its origin. But the room
is bright enough to draw tears and here you are
in this chair that is just a few iotae too hard
to be comfortable and there’s a plate in front
of you where one dish is a touch too salty
and one is a smidgen too sweet and the wine
is right over the borderline into bitterness.
You crush out your cigarette against a lima
bean that fell from your plate to the counter
and turn to the obituary section since there was
nothing of value in the classifieds. Once again
there is no one you know but you can count
the time now in days, maybe hours, until
that changes. A snap, a twist, a kiss against
the hollow of the throat, and the nurse
turns the TV off for the final time, the bed
is stripped, the sheets thrown down to launder,
the room prepared for its next inhabitant.
But you know, don’t you, and you have always
known that it’s never so simple as the owners’
manual would have you believe. These aren’t
apples on the branch that sit there and wait
to be plucked by hungry six-year-olds. They
slip, they drift, most of them just wander
until you take them by the shoulders and steer
them through the gates, but sometimes you
get that one who’s just on his game and takes
a header through the window or whatever
and sometimes you wonder where the ones
you lose track of end up, but no one can tell you.
About the author
November 2018 marked Robert Beveridge's thirtieth anniversary as a publishing poet. When not writing, he makes noise (xterminal.bandcamp.com) in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Pink Litter, Triadæ, and Welter, among others.