One Shoe Drops

Lori describes her bed
as a sack of potatoes
and her pillow
as a bread loaf full of hungry mice.

Of course she is in her cups.
Of course she feels an ache for connection.

It is the hour of brag
that men label happy
where work-day stomach pains
relax with applied poisons.

Of course she wants someone in her life
to break up with.

Far away in Ukraine
fourth cousins three times removed
fight an enemy armed with lies
that generate a holy sense of purpose.

Of course Lori does not think about it
at a conscious level.

Lori is dimly aware she survives
a toxic, sexist digital workplace
drinking until everyone goes home
and the door shuts her out.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Holiday Oddity

Paul insisted on wrapping lies
around an awkward truth.

He wrapped both in Christmas lights.
Colorful LEDs to save energy when plugged in.

His drunken faith justified
tobacco unrolled from cigarettes

tossed on the Yule log as it burned
to keep Santa away from our chimney.

Paul buried himself in a flatscreen football game
and counted the girls in advertisements

amazed that they now look more human
in the sense of varieties of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Through all of this he made himself tolerable
somehow reading our faces

as his invisible dials tilted toward self-loathing
by the time the eggnog ran out.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney