Horace Greeley

Paul lived with his girlfriend
until she brought home
a dancer statuette with a clock belly.

Its proximity prevented Paul
from painting, writing poetry,
and fielding hot grounders at shortstop.

He ate a bucket of fried chicken
and used the leftover drumsticks
to remove the clock’s unwholesome aura.

He tapped on the statuette
with the bones until he worked up a sweat,
but to no effect.

After the two of them dropped dumplings
fumbling around with chopsticks,
he decided it was time to go.

Paul was sure an unwritten rule applied
that allowed him to not be home
when she returned from work Tuesday evening.

He packed while she processed
insurance claims for incidental auto damage
such as a grocery carts rolling into front grills.

Even though he paid for the bathroom digital scale
he left it behind.
His copy of Hirshfield’s After he left behind by mistake.

Upon arriving at his friend’s to couch surf,
he noticed a total lack of trees and grass
at the apartment complex.

He decided to think this over with a couple beers.
On his way to the bar he passed speed radar
that flashed thirty-seven, his lucky number.

He never stopped for the beer.
He pulled onto the interstate instead,
blasted Bat for Lashes and headed west.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney

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