2010 46er Prize Finalist

Our one trillion skin cells multiply like little small rooms
at a party where two strangers touch between curtains,

and in as brief a moment, you’re gone, and I am a child
quivering under one star and its cold camera.

And right now somewhere far off
in the middle of nowhere two trains collide,

the conductor secretly kissing his girlfriend’s neck
through a cell phone. I walk the subway stop

missing your hand, warm and moist, your mouth
pushing through my face. Above, the neighborhood looks

lonely without cars and leaves and the ground’s been wet
for weeks and my jacket always seems lousy, too thin

for the wind, though it still smells like you. There’s a hat store
down the street and I walk by, late, looking

at the faceless mannequins—wellingtons, chupallas, fedoras,
the trilby—this place is quiet and damp,

and when I touch my ear to the glass,
it’s the heat that whistles like a man wasting time.

DAVID CREWS has poems published or forthcoming in The Greensboro Review, Paterson Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, The Carolina Quarterly, The New Guard, and others. Nonfiction forthcoming in SPECTRUM. He both teaches and lives in New Jersey.