10th Street by PW Covington

10th Street hangover morning
Contraband post office visit
Nuevo Progreso, Mexico

Pharmaceuticals and Cuban tobacco
Sent by mail, away
To a mountain state
In a cardboard box
Hair of the frog, soaking in
Blood Orange and Vodka
Edinburg in early December
Post election overcast
I only feel old
On mornings like this

I should have died decades ago
In aircraft wreckage and African smoke
What do the empowered young women see
When they look at me
Do they look at me?
Grey hair and a 38 inch waist
Leonard Cohen and Lana Del Rey
Coffee shops on mid-week days
Too close to call
Yet, too far away

Reflections are not reality
Ambitions do not defy gravity
But, those eyes
I want to drink her
Swim in her depths
As she reads James Baldwin out loud

She should leave me
With her taste on my face
For dinner with her fiancé

My knee never used to hurt like this
My country never used to elect fascists
10th Street, all the way to Trenton
Past Ferguson, past Standing Rock
Past galactic check points
In time eternal
Curling back to someplace
Left behind for good
Past the prisons I refused to let control me

And what of youth?
And what of you?
And what of her?
And what of truth?

On 10th Street

  PW Covington’s work has been published by academic journals and underground ‘zines, and he has been featured as a reader by venues and festivals across the Western US, including at The Beat Museum in San Francisco. He was recently the recipient of the Literature and Latte Scrivener Award for poetry from Hourglass Journal (Bosnia and Herzegovina). His third book of poetry, titled “Sacred Wounds” was published by Slough Press in 2015.  Covington is a 100% service connected disabled veteran of peacekeeping duty in Somalia and a convicted felon.  More info can be found at www.PWCovington.com.


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