the drunken mess of my little brother dragging him home in the night away from the party he had become militantly comical screaming in the faces of other party guests and laughing in a strangely glottal way i had never really heard from him before his breath humid with beer and wet cigarette butts his torn military jacket faded
heading back to work on a cold and sunny day
ive earned a living my entire life now i support
plenty of other people i drive to the office
spend 8 or 10 hours frustrated and cross
then drive back home at night often eat dinner
alone that i have warmed up in the microwave
i know about quiet desperation but i also know
about real desperation because i have driven beneath
the overpass and seen the homeless encampment there
the city folds over onto itself and some people
are crushed that way and some people navigate
the creases over and over even as the folding
leaves a smaller and smaller page
Peaceful Easy Feeling
I was very drunk at a martini party
sitting around the fire pit with some
young successful tech bros and lawyers
my friend gave me a vape pen with
indica weed when I first arrived and
I was stoned losing my grip.
These guys were talking at me about
something but the fire was so warm
I couldn’t really respond and I thought my
normal thoughts about being overwhelmed
and possibly inferior and then you arrived
Alicia in your green dress and black boots
with your bangs falling across your glasses
and I liked that so much I like you so much
you seemed very cool to me.
I told the guys around the fire that you
are my wife in an interrupting manner and
I felt very glad and self-assured about you.
That made me calm and strong in my thoughts.
The fire was indeed warm so I sat back and
you talked and made everyone laugh.
Wallace Barker lives in Austin, Texas. He has been published in Neutral Pages, Reality Hands, Soft Cartel, and Philosophical Idiot. More of his work can be found at wallacebarker.com