Brent Fisk



PASSING AN OUTDOOR CAFE

Walking home from work with a list in my head,
the looping buzz of things to do,
I pass the book bags and tight black purses
of coeds drinking away an afternoon.

A gray-coated dog hangs its tail low
and snuffles up what's dropped to the ground.
Those gathered here are years away

from mortgages and student loans coming due.

They don't even dream of giving up

smoking. Their bodies don't whisper,
cell to cell, hints of what they lose. They're full
of hard laughter and beer.

I dip beneath the limbed-up holly,
a crepe myrtle still winter-boned
and think of the garden shed trashed with leaves,
snake skins, a pan flute of dauber nests.
Last spring behind a stack of terra cotta pots 
I found a mouse skull, a bird wing, a goose egg

toothed open and cleaned of yolk.

As I wait to cross the street, the gray dog
trots up behind me. Collarless and lost,
he's ribbed with an easy hunger. Nameless,

we walk together, our feet moving in tandem
is a soft song that eases the heat from the light.
Already I dream of my wife plying us with food,
soothing us in from our shaggy chores
with a care that's almost feral.




Brent Fisk is a writer from Bowling Green, Kentucky who has had work in recent issues of Rattle, Prairie Schooner, and Cincinnati Review among other journals. He is currently working on his MA in creative writing at Western Kentucky University.









                                    

 

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