KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Poem: 302 words [R]

Minding My Own

by Jack Cooper
I was minding my own visual elements 
and relishing a winter refill
when the skirt adjacent bent over to juice her Apple
and displayed for all the world 
nobody else’s expanding cellulite business
She was in the company of a beard 
who sucked a muffin by way of his whole hairy face 
like a walrus on a bivalve

I was about to leave for a second shower 
and a pot of Nescafé
when a woman on her wobbly way 
to a table by the window bumped my funny bone
with her uncensored relentless animated random observations
that fell like a rain of bad fruit 
on her old man wobbling behind
sopping up her gallimaufry of gossip 
and nodding to keep from nodding off
as if he’d simply given in to get along like fire in wind

He would be deaf at 80 I surmised
and she would live to be 102
but not on my time and I got up to go out
only to be blocked by a large beast in from the cold
his ragged wool coat red white and blue headband 
and boots with brass buckles
looking like he’d just taken a breather 
from the Siege of Vicksburg

Holding on to his studded glove 
floated a turquoise swallow of a sweetheart
who made cups rattle colors shift up the spectrum
and the pop music twist
into something resembling Moonlight Sonata

Wives watched their husbands 
and husbands studied their shoes
as the two exotics landed in an overstuffed chair in the corner
where they camped out with flagons of whipped cream
and a canister of imported white wafers
forcing me to realize as I stood in line for another round
how much I owed these people 
for reminding me to get it together
before it’s too late

—First published in The Main Street Rag (Volume 14, Number 3, Summer 2009); republished here by author’s permission

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