One time my father whooped my grandfather's ass in the kitchen

Kyle Scott


Sing lullabies and love tunes

to landfills.

Sleep on packing peanuts in the spare room

brushing your teeth with green beer.

On occasion, you may drift in and out of sleep

while the ladies in highchairs above your head contemplate

their early welfare days, alone then, with child and

a frozen bag of mixed vegetables (their children sleeping now).

In range, the local radio spoons in late reports;

late persons disappearing in late hours

Whether or not you want to hear it, you hear it.

In the morning, wash your face and rearrange clothes

get out a gift, the boutonnière made of glass

and add it on your suit…freshen up a bit

because there's nothing wrong with sleeping in a tie.

There is something wrong with sleeping alone.

Be courteous because sometimes behind lampshades

you surrender emotion—completely at the whim of what mood

the city is in for the evening.

And why not?

On autumnal afternoons the blind

and illiterate will ask you to translate

the street signs

and after that, your skill is sacred

you're saved for the current times

to walk out like a battleship.

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240