corner room1
by Marcus Clayton
“Fall in love and get married then boom
How the hell did it get here so soon?”
-Tom Waits, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”

On the other side,
of the viridescent fence—
upturned chain-link at the feet
trench too small
for our torn
sneakers to sneak under—
are children
children, children.
Little capsules of verve
play soccer with their hands
goalie covers home plate
girls shove boys, boys
laugh at their grated knees
smiling without rules
without the disconcerted
knowledge that, “you
gotta use your feet.”

Thankfully, we can’t
crawl under the fence
to warn them, as we sit
cracked statues holding each
other’s frost tipped hands,
only stare forward
finding rust over the green
holes within the links,
weak as bended bone,
our shoulders touch only
to bridge ants, my free
hand warmer in pocket
fingering loosed thread, ring
finger buried under lint.
We could leave if we didn’t pretend
that we forgot how to use our feet.

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