‘Two More Poems’ Michael Gebelein

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Pat works at the hospital and tries to talk to me about politics

We all leave our grass clippings on the lawn
Except for my neighbor, Pat, who works at the hospital and tells me about the
various benefits of trickle-down economics
I was outside, sweating, with my grass clippings on the lawn
He told me that people who aren’t like us just don’t understand how this thing is
actually set up.
I’ve got news for you, buddy, the shit isn’t built for people like us
Three or four bedrooms and half an acre is all we can ask for.
I might keep the lights on but the rest of it is beyond me
Bleeding down onto the linoleum
Wiping up spilled drinks from the table
And praying for just the right amount of wisdom to keep me going
But not so much that I see this for what it is

Books on tape

My mom would drive in winter with the sunroof open
And a book on tape at a volume slightly higher than was necessary or
comfortable
Slipping away into that world, whatever that world was,
A character flaw she passed down to me
I have the same tattoo that she had
The word ‘now’ on the inside of my right wrist

It doesn’t remind me of anything
It doesn’t remind me to be present
It just reminds me of her
I’m not convinced that this is the best way
It’s better than a cursive-script memorial sticker on the back window of a dodge
neon
Memory is a funny, beautiful thing
That fades and contracts and expands on its own
Building and demolishing the stories I once knew so well
And replacing them with something more real
Stories that I can whisper in the dark
Stories that no one can understand
Stories that have no meaning, except for me.

Michael Gebelein is a writer and editor who lives in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains. His poetry and fiction have appeared in The Philosophical Idiot and his poetry has appeared in the Tulane Review, Deep South Magazine, Aries, Out of Our, and several other publications.

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