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January 9, 2021

Two Poems

Stephen Comstock


he’d take me with him in the summertime
to paint houses and make four bucks an hour.
my baby boy muscles would hurt
because I didn’t know how to work
like a sixty year old man who worked his whole life.

when lunchtime came around
i’d lay in the bed of his pickup
next to piles of empty husky dip cans.
he’d offer me olive loaf on white bread.
i’d say no thank you
and he would look at me
like I didn’t know who I was.
he’d smack his gums away in silence
until he thought to tell me
that the danes invented soccer
by kicking skulls around.


trailer poem #1

we had a hole in the back of our bathtub
in the secondhand doublewide where i grew up
my daddy had patched it with putty
but it kept re-opening
each time bigger than before
our hot water wasn't nothing but a drip
and it smelled like the cool underside of a rock
or a basement that had seen a flood

it made my skin crawl to stand in that tub
even as a grown man
I would count the yellow tiles
or sing my army songs
to think of anything but that hole
and the snakes or other things
that might crawl up to see me
naked as a wet jaybird