Five Poems by Jude

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‘rain girl’

we were working the registers one day.
it was storming.
the sky and the tiles matched.

i put my head in my hands,
closed my eyes.

next thing i knew she was gone,
her shoes and socks left in a pile
like an occult stick formation in the woods.

then i saw her outside,
jumping in a puddle of rain.

‘worst nite’

heat death of my dumb ass brain.

scrolling, scrolling, scrolling,
watching holocaust docs on my phone,
texting a girl from 9th grade.

she said she wanted to go to Mexico with me.
she had a vacation home there.
it was cheap bc of the cartels.

hit my head on the bar above my bed,
accidentally stepped on the cat,
spent a few minutes apologizing about it.

stayed up till 2 figuring out what i did wrong.
the girl didn’t reply.

stared at the power outlet for an hour.

‘king comedy’

fingertips tingling,
eyes radiant bc of the surrounding darkness,
laughing to keep warm,

i make a joke about a movie
from a few years ago.

my friend repeats it louder,
and it lands.

a firetruck passes,
and i laugh
’cause it looks like a candy apple from this angle.

‘ultimate journey’

a path off of Wooster
a ways off the road.
i take a deep breath
and enter.

an hour of wading through streams
and throwing rocks at bigger rocks.

i bathe in creek water
more than i do the resplendent sunlight.

the creek ends and a path emerges.
someone must have taken it yesterdy.
buds are on the ground.
branches are torn and broken.

i emerge from the thicket, and my feet hit pavement.
the ground feels even at last.

i walk down the corporate driveway
that stretches,
never bending,
unrelentless.

at last, i reach the main drag,
busy as ever,
and hit up a Dunkin Donuts for iced coffee.

‘pf changs’

the kung pao shrimp at pf changs
is not as good as it used to be.

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