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Two Poems from James H. Duncan

 

Samantha

the water is filling by handfuls
soon she’ll sink
face deep, and in the kitchen
tea boils,
in the bedroom influenza sleeps,
the printer releases the PDF papers to
the floor, but the ink is sputtered
and dry, leaving faded
smears of words
like dead crows in the snow
lined like death-camp cordwood
scattered
sheet after sheet of
divorce papers,
and the bath howls with nostalgic heat,
steaming palm prints stain the mirror, the doorknob,
the papers falls in piles as the tea seeps

she kicks back her head,
dropping more pills into her failing
stomach,
there is so much to consider,
lost and gained,
stripped and earned,
there is so much
the threads holding life together
too tight
the last unwilling strand now just
a thin surgical cut into
her tenuous laughing flesh

and the words on the floor say—just crawl into
that heat, that water in the tub, disappear,

and make sure you bring a razor with you.

 




Cue the music

I don’t understand my desires
in this dry heat

I sit and watch the sun roll out
hearing the doctor say: we make ourselves
anew
with each tomorrow

her voice doesn’t match the words
coming from her lips
and the sun sets as I remember this, lighting the waters
beyond the lapping seawall
an orange diamond fever
as the heart finally
understands
complies
stops.


(The above poems will appear in the collection "Dealing With the Devil in the Middle of the Road: New & Selected Poems" by James H. Duncan.)



A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure. James H. Duncan lives in New York City and is the editor of Hobo Camp Review, an online literary 'zine dedicated to the traveling word. A Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee, his poetry and short stories have found homes in publications such as Pulp Modern, Apt, Red Fez, Plainsongs, Haggard & Halloo, Underground Voices, and Poetry Salzburg Review. More at http://jameshduncan.blogspot.com.


                                                                            
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