May

A story on a blank page
one page as blank as the last.
A few words only,
“last night the lights”
and a sketch of a bridge.

Skip the usual turn
and travel into the darkness
one darkness as dark as the last.
A few stars only
above the treeline.

Keep to the the right of the cemetery
until you find the bridge
where the sun will rise
in May over the lilacs
and the pale new leaves
of the willow
are green and bending.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Over and Over

I write the same two poems

 

over and over.

 

One is called

 

“I’m in Love.”

 

The other is called

 

“I Hate Myself.”

 

They take turns,

 

rotate,

 

in my head and heart,

 

by the season,

 

or the weekend,

 

or from one moment

 

to the next.

 

Sunrise.

 

Sunset.

 

I’m sick of myself

 

and

 

I love you.

Lucky

It eats me up from the inside out.

It burns a hole in my stomach and

 

leaks poison into my bloodstream.

It boils and distills in my brain,

 

becomes a potent and powerful wave.

It absorbs the good energy and

 

burns it black,

a big bang in my heart.

 

Do you have one of these?

Doesn’t everyone?

The End of the World

Today feels like the end of the world, so

I’m pretending that I’m high.

It’s easier that way.

I refuse reality. I will not play along.

 

The boulevard is smeared with piles of Oreo ice cream.

A river flows on the edge of the street and

10 year old boys race popsicle sticks.

My dad’s truck splashes by, almost hits us.

 

My dad doesn’t wave because

there’s work to be done.

There’s always something to do,

even while the world is dying.

All That Matters

People jump off ledges

 

high above the street.

 

Dogs get crushed by cars.

 

People kill people

 

with guns,

 

with knives,

 

with their bare hands.

 

Trains come off their rails and spill destruction

 

onto the morning commute.

 

Mom is screaming at her children.

 

Dad is in jail for selling you know what.

 

Your pilot is badly hung over.

 

You can be replaced at work.

 

Your poetry is god awful.

 

So is the music you listen to

 

and the movies you watch.

 

Your socks don’t match.

 

You have crumbs on your shirt.

 

You didn’t wash your hands.

 

Your teeth hurt.

 

You smell rank.

 

A beautiful bird crashes hard into the window.

 

The model can’t keep food down anymore.

 

She’s coughing blood.

 

The president is an asshole.

 

We’re all going to die.

 

The doctor killed his patient

 

because he checked Facebook

 

during open heart surgery.

 

Mom and Dad are divorced now.

 

The children hate them.

 

The house is on fire.

 

He drinks too much.

 

She’s crazy on drugs.

 

Rich, white men pass laws to make themselves richer.

 

Someone shoots one of them in the face.

 

The sky glows danger.

 

The best player on your team just shredded his knee.

 

You slip and fall down the basement stairs.

 

Your arm snaps like a pencil.

 

Your 2 year old drowns in the neighbors’ pool.

 

All of this is happening,

 

all day,

 

every day.

 

This is the world we live in.

 

But I don’t care about

 

any of it.

 

All that matters to me

 

is this tiny, gray kitten

 

peeking

 

out

 

from the patio door.