apartment living

Standard

i remember
sometimes, over and above
the sound of our television,
i could hear her screaming
at her eight year old son roy,
a kid a year younger than me,
who lived in the apartment upstairs.
the louder and more staccato
she would hurl her words,
the more often the counterpoint
of his yelps of pain.
it usually ended
with the thud of his body
slammed against a wall.
we didn’t play together much,
but sometimes i would see him
walking his thin sad-eyed dog
that had bruise marks on his ribs
where roy would kick him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

©A. D. Joyce, 2017

redemption

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i’ve known storms
and arkless floods
been swallowed by whales
been turned into a pillar of salt
in service of a broken heart
been on the wrong side of righteousness
swallowed by the bloody sea
been myopic been slingshot
but i was knocked off my horse
changed my name
and been brought back from the dead
because all i ever had
were songs of redemption
songs of freedom

©A. D. Joyce, 2017

common cold

Standard

“for these past 5 years
i’ve been
studying harder
working longer
eating better
crying the most honest tears

and i haven’t been ill
not even the common cold
in all that time”
i was just telling my friend
a few months ago

then the day before yesterday
there was the hint
of a tired ache in my body
i could not ignore
and last night
i could barely sleep
due to the drippy nose
and mouth breathing

by morning i had
a fuzzy headed drowsiness
and my the skin was irritated
from the constant tissue wiping

my streak of invincibility
had been ruined
by someone’s inconsiderate cough
into the open air

or maybe i push too hard
thinking i can do it all
and maybe i can do it all
just not all at once
and not by myself
i’m human
i’m not perfect

i have to admit
by midday
i was relieved
to have a reason
to lie down
and take a nap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

©A. D. Joyce, 2017