Artist's Bio: John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Sanskrit and the science fiction anthology, ?Futuredaze? with work upcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, New Orphic Review and Nerve Cowboy.


The Effect on Others

John Grey


There's bits of me in every one of the fifty states.
If I didn't drop it there personally, it blew from somewhere else.
And not just the gloves I've lost and umbrellas I've forgotten under cafe chairs.
I've dispensed feeling, doled out camaraderie, even distributed disgust.


I can even be lying on my bed and just thinking.
And what do you know but I end up in Oklahoma.
There's no settling down. The effect of just one breath is wave upon wave.
It doesn't stop, not even at the oceans.


And it's not just me. Everybody's doing it.
A life just can't be contained. Even my priest agrees.
And Annabelle thinks she doing us a favor by playing her stereo low.
But nobody's ever figured out how to play Annabelle low.


I remember reading somewhere about the great number of bugs that
crawled around on every flake of human skin.
But we're the bugs and there's an American skin, there's a world skin.
There may even be an outer-space skin for all we know.


I just reckon, "Happiness will do." Gallant of me. Considerate of me.
At least what I spread will end up in Des Moines as joy.
But there's only so much happiness on the planet and the answer is none.
Try dividing that between the billions.


So despite there being no harm in me, there's harm by the dagger thrusts.
And the limited number of things I truly hate know no bounds.
But I love Gale and she seems to be the better for that. And she loves me.
Smack, spill, splatter, disperse. Together at last. In someone's craw of all places.

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