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Peter [Excerpt/Work in Progress]

by Frankie Sanchez

I once shared my commute with a man who looked like razor burn.
The letters stitched into his shirt said Peter.
Peter never looked up, talked about the algebra in his blood.
Said he didn't understand it.
Was convinced that he’d be divided into imaginary numbers.
He scribbled in all caps
over and over across the same sheet of notebook paper,
I should’ve told Peter that we all have that much power.
That we’re all capable of falling apart.
I should have told him that I am not a crook,
that to walk away from him is completed as abhorrent to every
instinct in my body.
But in the moment I didn't think twice about my silence.
Or how loud it was.
It might’ve looked as though I was turning away,
it might’ve appeared as though I was panning for the nearest escape route,
it’s just that twelve years of Catholic schooling taught me to turn
the other cheek
and so I turned and turned and turned
like a hurricane
alphabetically named
temperamental and temporary.


Posted on 10/02/2013
Copyright © 2022 Frankie Sanchez

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Matthew Zangen on 01/04/14 at 08:03 PM

If this is an excerpt, I'd love to read the rest. Really great work as always, Frankie.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 01/05/14 at 04:57 AM

Captivating, evocative read. Those last six lines really did it for me. Thanks for sharing, Frankie, and continued success with your writing in 2014.

Posted by George Hoerner on 01/10/14 at 07:17 PM

I love this Peter! Not just because of the math but also because my wife after all these years still considers herself to be a recovering Catholic. But I can tell from her occasional bout of guilt that she still carries it with her.

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 01/11/14 at 04:49 PM


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