tagNon-Erotic PoetryAll his shirts are torn

All his shirts are torn


when you see him
at the burger king
picking up pennies as he mops the
grime of the day
do not make presumptions

you do not know this man
how his son started sending him signals
by dropping copper in his path
and one by one all of the women
he knew from the time of halter tops
and swimming holes are losing their memory
their minds their control
they rearrange furniture and trip over ghosts
as he pushes the bucket over the ridge
between kitchen and front counter
and gray water sloshes onto the floor

but this is easy to fix
you just push the mop
and soak it up
but still the night manager scowls
revealing the start of your very first wrinkles

and in our mind’s transcript
we interchange pronouns
switching from internal dialogue between
big city big time girl and the mother
I always wanted to be
to single spotlight monologue on the edge
of the stage which always seems to start
“it wasn’t all my fault”
to conversations replayed where this time
you say the right thing and he doesn't storm off
with your keys
one last time

you never know who pushes the mop
it could be you
could be me
it could be the name that scrolls down the big screen
up and coming until the blacklist
tripped him down
tripped you down

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