From Issue 15: The Clash

Gerald Yelle

This was supposed to be a day for comedy.
Day of the dawn, not dawn of the dead.
It was supposed to be a celebration. A much
needed respite. We’d been drinking and now
we were going to stop. We were going to
check into a shelter, then check ourselves out.
We were going to weather the needles
and pins. Take inoculations. Gargle with saline.
Lave the wounds. Visit the doctor. Butter the toast.
I don’t remember what we were going to do.
I think we were going to visit our father.
I think we were going to edit our plans. It was
a time of great anticipation. We were about to
step out of the way of our own personal
goals. Our rising billions. Instead it felt like
exhaustion. Like we were having trouble catching
our breath. Like we were leaning out of
a twenty-story window. Balanced on abdominals.
Should we stay or should we go. It’s a clash
of competing impulses seeing on a saw,
living every minute on a nerve rubbed raw.

 

Gerald Yelle’s books are The Holyoke Diaries (Future Cycle Press), Evolution for the Hell of It (Red Dashboard Press), Mark My Word and the New World Order (The Pedestrian Press), and Restaurant in Walking Distance and Everything (Cawing Crow Press). He teaches high school English.