In The Grasp Of Thank You by Frank Reardon

All those bipolar days and nights
locked up in Madison County
with the long haired man
who claimed to have murdered
two people with a shotgun.
Out on bail, grime under the nails,
hadn’t showered in days;
Natalie calling me to come over
to fuck, to argue, to push me out the door
twenty anxious minutes later
with a bottle of two buck chuck
and the empty downtown streets
of Huntsville. Still alive, still human,
still holding out the doomed hand.
A whisper from the boneyard,
sleeping next to Thomas Ellis
who died of the plague in 1903,
and Mary Pollock who sang
religious hymns to children
before her heart burst in 1911.
A little notebook stolen
from a Dollar Store. A pen
ripped from the metal beads
of a bank, the metal clasp still fastened
at the top. Poems, screams,
and holidays otherwise spent
day dreaming. She was still a toddler then,
still a walking music box.
The single crystal glowing
on the broken backs of snow covered
pine trees. I could do no wrong, she still
loved, regardless that I stood in the food pantry
lines. She still sang to me
on the phone after I dipped
my hand into the work cash register.
All those bipolar days and nights
arguing with myself, and walking
up and down Airport Road
from Al’s bar to The Thirsty Turtle,
looking for a way out, or a way in.
Romantic ideas that kept my blistered
feet going, still without a single publication,
without music in my ears. Families
on the their way to Thanksgiving
feasts, their faces gluttonous
with joy and feelings I had never
felt before. And me, on my way
to the nearest bench to sit far
away from it all, wishing I could
remember a time when I wasn’t me.
And I waited, and waited,
for the earth to crack open
underneath my feet and swallow me whole,
but it never did. Instead, the shape
of the world decided to evolve,
it gave me another chance,
embraced me as the forgotten one.
It’s quite remarkable to love, and to be loved.

Frank Reardon was born in 1974 in Boston, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Minot, North Dakota. Frank has published poetry and short stories in many reviews, journals and online zines. His first poetry collection, Interstate Chokehold, was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2009 as well as his second poetry collection Nirvana Haymaker in 2012. His third poetry collection Blood Music was published by Punk Hostage Press in 2013. In 2014 Reardon published a chapbook with Dog On A Chain Press titled The Broken Halo Blues. Frank is currently working on more short fiction.

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