Leveler Poetry Journal
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Sometimes, I imagine myself

a pharaoh past his prime, wrapped up

like a birthday present beneath

a pyramid of wasted years,

dick and riches utterly useless.

And I often find myself paralyzed

at grocery stores, paranoid past absurdity,

considering possibilities of last-minute guests

and midnight cravings, carrying away

bags of unjustifiable excess. It makes me

want to charge out the automatic doors and hide –

but where? I bruise easily, and I’ve resigned

to climb only smaller, more manageable trees.

Not only that, but the stones I throw won’t skip,

and I refuse to believe “it’s all in the wrist.”

Say, have we decided what protocol is

for handling the homeless man who

interrupts our conversations with gimmicks,

seeking a few coins or cigarettes? Wait,

don’t go. Tell me I’ve made myself clear.

Tell me you at least understand there’s no guilt

like the guilt over wasted produce.




Justin Davis