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and by god what is that noise?

by Eli Skipp

a communal puddle of piss, he shows her his teeth. after three hours of sleep on a
couch made for half of him, the window is open onto a busy street and trams drive down
it. in the next rooms live six or seven other people, not so much in straight lines or
rows, and one of them has weight falling off of his innards in great swathes and coming
to rest in oubliettes.

the floor is bright red and the walls patterned in hot colors. the wee hours of 'morn find him
scratching at the soles of a twitching girls feet and tripping down steps in his frayed up black
shoes, who knows how he got here? notices that people yell a lot, don't eat onions, do eat bread.

and wet clothes stick to him like stray pieces and stain up the backs and fronts of his shirts.
the twitchy girl does backbends on his dusty floor despite the years of superfluous fat which
have become looped about her ribs and innards, shrieking as loud as she can!

and by god what is that noise?

finds himself running the distance between buildings and ignoring the calls of "olly olly
oxen free," knowing that even in the outer reaches of eastern europe they are building
mountains out of trash and molehills out of graspings, and in the mornings he rasps
when he speaks.


Posted on 09/13/2009
Copyright © 2022 Eli Skipp

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Jared Fladeland on 09/17/09 at 02:30 AM

For some reason I couldn't get the imagery of the band of brothers series, where they were turning ordinary homes into makeshift hospitals full of the dying wounded.

Posted by Frank Lee on 12/11/09 at 02:37 AM

woke up in a place like this a time or two myself.

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