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TWO POEMS

A Little Quality Time

The character on the little boy’s backpack came from a movie from my childhood, where the cars had faces and talked like people who watched Nascar run their oval races, and I am already an old man. The little boy finished his bagel and juice with distracted prodding from his father, who wore a watch which might have cost thousands for no reason, gold glittering a little too bright. The train bobbled, they were coming to work with me. 

I feel ill and want

off, hungover. 

I get to the office and drink juice of my own, 

   and read of ghastly world affairs to center

   myself. 

Where is my father, ask, and I’ll show you him as he is now and always has been, 

   willing to lick his thumb to wipe the crumbs off my face.

I could want for little else. 

No, nothing to purge

there, 

but I’ll keep thinking and maybe

write a poem about him. 

Red Line

The photographer sitting across the aisle had 2 different cameras slung

around his neck and still refused to take my picture, an indignity that I simply wouldn’t

stand for so I leaned my head back and let it rest against the shiny gray of the train

inside felt it vibrate and every so often conk the back of my head but that was alright

because the pose had been struck and my sunglasses were sliding down my nose, I

looked like a rumpled beauty damn him, and still he considered me and turned away. 

His neighbor was big and bald and on his way to work at the W hotel on Lake

Shore he broke into a smile laughing at something in his ear 

he was missing one of his front teeth and I pined to

know, tell me a story what’s so funny. 

Sam (he/him) is a desk jockey in Chicago, watching the world around for something to write about. Find him on Instagram as @samkayuha.