Thursday, April 21, 2016

Jonathan Butcher- Three Poems


That blade of air slowly slices this room,
and separates us completely. It allows
the blank stares to run free at any table,
no need for us to sit opposite.

The words that bounce from the bottle,
like moths to a light bulb, and fall straight
into our throats. From the pit of our stomachs
they are regurgitated with even less meaning.

So incomplete those final meetings, that allow
us to convince ourselves we are rested without
guilt. The shards of false sentiment marinaded
in cheap wine and cobwebs, now just slightly less

After that last sip, both our faces drop at
the very mention of this repeating. That blade
of air now blunted, and I shuffle towards that
beckoning exit, without the risk of permanent 


That same road narrows each time I decide
to grace its pavements, that constant stain
across its sky like beer smudged ash, reflects
across the the oil-slicked puddles that my feet
empty with each quickening step.

The cracks along the walls that we are informed
we pay for on a monthly basis, gradually
expand with each passing week as the torn,
discarded parking tickets and rusted cans
rattle around my feet like miniature hurricanes.
The local on the corner which I now no longer
have to sprint pass, my constitution now
immune to its clientele's daggers. Its crumbling
walls now stand pitiful, yet now with a warmth
I begrudgingly decide to accept.
The breeze as usual remains inconsistent,
allowing neither flame or plain sailing to
function without error. Another summer
here may well allow our bruised toes to peek
over the edge, but once again I lack an excuse
to leave.  

Once again, that comfort from your invitation
leaves my head a little more still. No more
thoughts passing at lightening speed, only
tranquil like dust gathered on an abandoned
The conversation that drops in an out of this
space, never adjusting or assuming, and so
subtle in it's lack of praise. I decide to hold
my tongue when appropriate and only speak
when asked.
I never challenge your authority, and only
remain calm under scrutiny. Those wooden
draws in which you stashed your treasures still
remain closed, the view from that smeared window
just as dull as ever.
Upon my leaving, we make an attempt at forging
contact, the lines on the palms of my hands interlock
with yours like directionless cogs. I slip away once
more, happy that the air is again clear, and at least
for now your smile is at least content.

Jonathan Butcher has had poetry appear in various print and online publications
including: Popshot, Elbow Room, Ink, Sweat & Tears, The Belleville Park Pages
and others. His Second chapbook 'Broken Slates' was published By Flutter Press. 

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