Not Jonah

Leaves held a sit-in to protest October.

The original purpose of the railroad
was not to cart goods from point A to point B
but to segregate America’s cities.

Your lit cigarette fell on my good sweater
burning a hole in the fabric.
You claimed Act of God to get out from under
my claim you owed me a new sweater.

A hawk on the telephone wire
watched me sleep in the shade of trees
and tried to figure out how to carry me
to its nest to feed its fledglings.

Russian internet trolls and spies
high on cough syrup doused Twinkies
snuck onto my computer screen
and changed all my fonts to Cyrillic.

I read my poetry book aloud by the fire
a self-righteous group used to burn banned books—
I was hoping to get on the list.

I asked six whales, but all refused to swallow me.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

Late October

I am your rainy incident
that catches you
without an umbrella
so you order a second
double espresso
and write
your autobiography
in a chicken scratch code
on a brown napkin
sending all of your emotions
out to right field
during the World Series
with the hypothesis
your emotions
had one game-saving
over-the-wall catch
left in its marrow
before a field
of thistle seedpods
burst open
like clouds
that cause delay.

copyright © 2020 Kenneth P. Gurney