Three Poems by Justin Hyde

unbeknownst to me until recent unexplained insight following an unplanned physical altercation

i’ve always been
an emotional guy.
it’s only
after an upbringing
in the taciturn shadows
of two beaten dogs
who deserve some level of commendation
for doing a better job than their own parents,
only after that
and decades of self study thereafter
that i’m able to focus
miles of anchored chain loneliness and
overwhelming flashes of empathy
for the deafening echo inside each
individual human prison
into apricot shaped grenades
like this one
right here
cupped in my palms.
they come without call,
pin already pulled.
soon as they do
i throw myself on them
so as not
to make a scene.

 

trailer on the hill by the cemetery

open book
of crossword puzzles
on the coffee table,
‘fox’ in seven across,
‘apple’ in sixteen down,
sketches of sunsets
and horses
in the margins.

it’s sophomore year
of college,
i’m on a four day drunk
with john mcgee
during winter break.

i lucked into college
john backed into the
tones factory after
three felonies.

we came across janelle
while shooting stick
at the corner pocket.
john says
she was in our class
until dropping out
in tenth,
but i don’t remember
her.

i can hear him
working her over
in the next room,
feel it
through the couch.

an old woman
in a nightgown
comes out of the
far back room,
takes a piss
with the door open.

i put my bottle
behind the leg
of the coffee table,
straighten up,
try to stop the
gentle spinning
of the room
mumble hello
as she walks past
to the kitchen.

she drinks
her water
without
acknowledging me.

then i get back there
for my turn.

i was a wrestling
cheerleader freshman year,
always thought you
were cute,
she says
pulling me down
onto the futon.

turn the lights on
i wanna see it
in you,
i say
biting her neck.

i sit up
back against the wall
as she works it
in her mouth.

then my eyes
come into focus,
there’s a crib
less than a foot
to my left,
sleeping child
in there.

what’s the matter
did i bite?
she smiles
tossing her
purple streaked
black hair.

missed my shot

as a little guy
i was too chickenshit
to go past
daydreaming.

as a teenager
i had a brass-knuckle
and the anarchy
to pull it off

but already the
trailer-park philosopher

in my mind
cracking my dad
would be a sign i cared
which would be a
win in his column.

two decades down the road
motherfucker’s
in my house right now

first time i’ve seen him
in two years

and i’m a
grown man
all lit-up on
tequila rose.

he still wears
socks up to his knees
homemade jean shorts
and a toothpick
behind his ear.

but
he’s sixty-seven,

liver spots
starting to choke-out
his hands,

a good
twenty-pounds of muscle
withered off his frame
since i saw him last

and he keeps asking
what day it is.

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2 Responses

  1. WAS THAT YOUR MINION ON THE NFL WEBSITE SLAMMING FOX NEWS AND THE RNC? TAKE YOUR MESSIAH OBAMA AND STAY IN WELFARE/ANTI AMERICAN PLACES LIKE NYC AND SF. YOUR GAME IS ALL ANTI GOD HATE AND EVERYONE’S A VICTIM. LIBERALS ARE FUNNY- FACTS DON’T MATTER- I’M WRONG BECAUSE I DISAGREE WITH THEM. JIMA.

    • I don’t have any minions. I don’t like Rupert Murdock. Don’t like the RNC. Are you aware that good people die for BP (british petroleum) interests in the Gulf Wars?

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