June 2, 2011

Michelle Amerson


Today, a lady said:
I stay with phones and bibles in my room, don’t sleep.
Never leave ’cause the windows let ’em in;
I see demons jumpin’ offa people,
and that’s why my gas bill’s high.

Even if I get rid of ’em, the shadows come
every every ever every where—that’s
how I got HIV.

And I said: do you have a bus pass?

Then a phone call:
I want to throw this here wienie dog.
I know, I know I shouldn’t have cut its tail
off, but it matches my eyes…

Make an appointment. How’s Friday?

A child eats my peppermints,
while her father cries. Another man
drinks a gallon of whiskey and shows
up right on time for anger management.

Here’s a tissue and a hotline.
Thank you, and come again. Please
drive-thru. See you next week.

At home. I hear their voices.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010
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