Twenty minutes in line at the bank, twenty-five & time enough to undress nearly everyone. A robbery any minute & you’re just a child begging, hurrying again toward the promise past the blue awnings, the tiers of overpriced candy & professing both wonder & thrill in the straight-to-video section. Gone are these practice runs for true boredom, the flap of the startled pigeons & the silence—noticed only today—when they return to land. Each morning the newspaper sleeps like a broken animal in the driveway. The rain could stay overnight or for a week, leaving behind whatever little she packs, then closing the door without a kiss, without a hug, without a shake or even a nod.
Michael Robins is the author of five collections of poetry, including People You May Know (2020) and The Bright Invisible (2022), both from Saturnalia Books. He lives in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago. More at ifyoulivedhere.substack.com.
Image: “Woodstock Shivastan Poetry Ashram: Book Store, Art Gallery & Giftshop” by Daniel Nester