I'm happy to just sit here, drink another beer and listen
to you. I should be back at work, but let's leave that
alone. You say you are tired and so very worried.
So many that you love are now at risk. Heavy boots
kicking in doors and lawyer after lawyer, you say.
Factory work, working in the fields. Crabbing
on the Chesapeake. All that sweat and love.
The tenderness of coming home and the fun
when a little money is in hand. Oh dance and dance.
Wheel and turn and fall into the laughter. Hold
her all night and in the morning get back to it.
If you get hurt there will be no food, no light
to love by. So don't get hurt. And when you do
don't tell anyone. Pain is what we share
even if we won't admit to it. I cannot promise
these days will pass. I'd love to jump into the Allegheny,
go down there into the filth and silence, and when
I'd come up, lungs hot and depleted, know
that each new breath meant a change for the better.
But that is what a young man believes. I can
only listen now and listen as the light fades
and the darkness and your whiskey-sad voice
are all that remain.
Kristofer Collins is the publisher and senior editor of Low Ghost Press. He is the books editor for Pittsburgh Magazine and a frequent contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His latest poetry collection, Salsa Night at Hilo Town Tavern was published by Hyacinth Girl Press in 2017. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Dr. Anna Johnson and their two cats