, December 04, 2021

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Faces against Names


  •   1 min read
Faces against Names

Vincent R. Pozon

They wear the names I know from long ago,
surnames, for that is how young boys are hailed,
I come to an inch of their faces, breathe their breath,
peer into mailbox slits in search of old friends.

I can not find this classmate whose name I know
was beside me alphabetically
on wooden desks scored deep with the words
of lecherous lads and physics formulae.

I see hot afternoons under lazy black fans,
chairs with worn glides shrieking when moved
on the floor made lumpy by coats of paint,
but I cannot see his laugh in this man's eyes.

Is he in there somewhere? Asleep? Is there
a misshapen, stunted shard of my friend
in this unhealthy bloat bearing his name,
made hopeless by debt and bad marriage?

They wear the names I know from long ago,
comrades once, now working against the people,
I come to an inch of their faces, breathe their breath,
peer into mailbox slits in search of patriots.

I cannot find this man who would argue
with fever about country till morning,
between us a glass of cheap inebriant,
our voices and Peer Gynt disturbing neighbors.

Is there a misshapen stunted shard
of my patriot friend inside this soused old man,
hope maimed by betrayal and bad presidents,
would he be duct-taped, hands bound, whimpering?


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