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May 1, 2020 Poetry

3 Poems

Danny Caine

3 Poems photo

The King of the Suburbs

They know his name at Carraba’s.
He’s never gotten a parking ticket.
His Christmas display isn’t the biggest
but it still makes people weep in their Mazdas.
Hearing about his health insurance plan
would make you want to drive off a bridge,
so we’ll just skip that. He loves the way his daughter
does commercials for his dealership. His shirts
actually are wrinkle-free. He can offer to pick up
the tab without doing any mental calculations.
He’s never been afraid of what’s waiting
in the mailbox.


A Room to Myself

The American Pickers are in tears
over Aerosmith’s van and
upstairs in 525 they’re running
receiving routes with an anvil.

I should be back home trying
to open the wrong Prius
in the daycare parking lot.
I should be watching my son

wrestle an invisible version
of himself
because I asked him to
put on the wrong pair of socks.

The thread count on these sheets
is itch hundred and honestly, same
with the ones at home but those
at least smell bad in a familiar way.

I’d trade every quiet second
in this Holiday Inn Express
for one small pile of wet cheerios
decomposing into carpet.

Tonight should be my best night
of sleep in months—a room to myself—
but I can’t relax for the invisible version
of myself, asking me questions.


The Center of The Universe

The Center of the Universe
is a parking lot in downtown Tulsa
where you can say hello and the universe
says hello back in your own voice, louder

The Center of the Universe
is in the updates to the privacy policy

The Center of the Universe
is in a Popeye’s in Des Moines
where they just cleaned the bathrooms

The Center of the Universe
is in the window where you type your last
name and room number to get the hotel wifi

The Center of the Universe
is clanking in the hallway
next to your room all night

Select all squares that contain
The Center of the Universe

The Center of the Universe
is tucked inside the folder
with your boarding pass and claim tags

The Center of the Universe
is a little worse for the wear but
it’s still number one on Tripadvisor

The Center of the Universe
follows you as you cross the room
from its frame over the bed

The TSA agent pulls your backpack
off the belt because he has to check it
for the Center of the Universe

The Center of the Universe
fills your window as you
tear open the curtains

The Center of the Universe
can only be seen by staring
into the center of the screen’s
spinning rainbow circle.

The Center of the Universe
is in my living room a thousand miles away
crying because he cannot
wear every pair of shoes at once


image: Aaron Burch