Wild five-year-old kids tumble in the chairs.
The adolescent girl reads away the afternoon,
avoids her home and everything that’s there.
Each of us has a debt to pay the weather.
Today is gray as a movie of London,
greasy-haired people in buildings of old
black brick and sooty windows Dickens spoke
into the world. And who spoke you, old woman,
newspaper trembling in your hands? Or you,
trying to overhear a nearby conversation so quiet
you’d think you’d stumbled into a forest of vespers?
Bars exhale their patrons, the street
trebles like a song, and inside every house
when one light switches off, another one comes on.
DOUGLAS COLE has published four poetry collections, and his work appears in anthologies such as Best New Writing, Bully Anthology, and Coming Off The Line, and in journals such as The Chicago Quarterly Review, Owen Wister Review, Slipstream, Red Rock Review, and Midwest Quarterly, The Adirondack Review, Ithaca Lit, and Talking Writing. His recorded stories can be found in Bound Off and The Baltimore Review. He has been nominated for two Pushcarts and a Best of the Web. He received the Leslie Hunt Memorial Prize in Poetry; the Best of Poetry Award from Clapboard House; and First Prize in the “Picture Worth 500 Words” from Tattoo Highway.” Interviews and publication links can be found at douglastcole.com.