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  You could have a big dipper   

Sometimes Men Tell Me Things by Mark Danowsky

Seems like because they believe

I am much younger

Like tonight

the mid-40s drunk I picked up

from the trashiest club in town

Tells me they stole his food, $30

& the girls are ugly

& the bouncer is a d-bag

So fuck ‘em we agree

because it is a matter of safety

Driving to the convenience store

before I drop him off at the “sticky floors” motel

he tells me he had cancer &

tries not to be a pessimist

but keeps almost dying

So I think of the PhD candidate earlier

who told me he’d had two kidney transplants

learned to scuba dive at 13

worked search & rescue

has jumped from a plane over 200 times

plans to sustainably farm rare medicinal herbs for essential oils

knows how to hunt for ramps

& which mushrooms are poisonous

Except I’m actually still stuck on the woman

who I drove across the Mason-Dixon line

to a 184-acre plot she inherited, but hates

because it’s too boring here

& sometimes a neighbor’s cow is loitering

when she comes out the front door

& sometimes at night she’ll step out to smoke

& there’s a damn turkey going gobble gobble gobble

& one night she took a pot shot into the dark

which brings me back to thinking about you

& how it’s unreal that you are gone

& I try to convince myself you would

have been able to stick around

if someone handed you 184 acres

of serene pasture

where cows meander by & turkeys speak to you

reminders not all is broken humanity


Mark Danowsky is Editor-in-Chief of ONE ART: a journal of poetry, Senior Editor for Schuylkill Valley Journal, Poetry Craft Essays Editor for Cleaver Magazine, and a Regular Contributor for Versification. He is author of the poetry collection As Falls Trees (NightBallet Press) and JAWN forthcoming from Moonstone Press.

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