February 25, 2010

at the waveland, 10:23am on a tuesday

by Justin Hyde

the man one stool over, lifeless eyes
like a pair of black marbles.
he tells me the old men
on the other side of the bar
remind him of his father.
says his parents divorced last march
after thirty-three years of marriage.
his dad committed suicide two months later.
i ask him what his father was like.
my old man was hitler
but he was mine, he says
looking toward me
but not at me. the overhead tv
talks about the recession.
everyone's taking their hunk of flesh, he says
tells me his jew landlord
raised his rent fifty dollars a month
didn't have the balls to do it in person
slid a note under the door
like a rat
in the middle of the night. man can only take so much
it's just a matter of time, he says.
till what? i ask.
till i hurt myself, hurt others, he says.
the sun is at window level
lighting up the dust
swirling around us like a snow-globe.
i ask what's holding him back.
but just barely, he says
twirling a dull silver cross
between his thumb
and forefinger.


Anonymous said...

I sometimes wondered if religion was objectively viewed by all, would the suicide rate spike first, or would we be mowed down first to never know the final statistic...
Thanks, as always, a pleasure, no matter the interpretation...

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