We decide to avoid a night at a table,
as chair fillers in the conversation of people
who aren’t terribly interested in what we have to say
and spend over an hour in a parking lot.
Me, talking and staring at my feet a lot.
You, on a tangent about the idiot who hit your car,
while I chime in about the scrapes and dings on mine
and soon the conversation shifts to the many
tribulations of trying to find the one person who
won’t fuck you and run away,
or how family is just fucked in general and finds
ways to hurt you and themselves
by drinking themselves into oblivion or
staying in marriages where they barely speak to
each other, let alone fuck on a regular basis.
And that’s when the helplessness in your eyes
makes me sadder and the little voice in my head
tells me to walk over to you and give you a hug
just so your arms will stop flailing and maybe
it will console you for a few minutes before
you have to immerse yourself back into the
frustration of living with someone who created you
yet knows not one fucking thing about you.
Instead, I look down at my shoes again,
repress everything I want to reveal
as we leave in our scarred cars
without even touching.
You are a brown ponytailed flash of
light, a burst of blue waves in
your eyes at seven am when we
both are exhausted from this
grind of public service.
I keep you near, like a little
sister and guard you from the
circling prey that would swallow
you. And when they try to separate
us, a long embrace shields us.
Kendall A. Bell is a native of Bergen County, NJ who transplanted to Burlington County in early 2001. His poetry deals with the frustration of everyday life, teetering dangerously on sanity’s edge and the hope of better days. His work has appeared in numerous print and online journals, most recently Scythe and Drown In My Own Fears. He was nominated for Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net collection in 2007, 2009 and 2011. His current chapbook, his eleventh, is called “The Forgotten”. He is president and a co-founding member of the Quick And Dirty Poets, founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle’s Notebook and the publisher/editor of Maverick Duck Press. His website is www.kendallabell.com and his chapbooks are available through www.maverickduckpress.com.