John Grey

Here You Are

Being born
takes a lot out of the world
you’re being born into.
Some must wash the blood off their hands.
A few are forced into loving
miniature versions of themselves.

With every new moment,
you’ve been alive long enough
to suckle a breast,
grip a finger,
cry over how incomplete you feel,
breathe whatever air
is tricked into coming near you.

And then those moments accumulate,
fuse into chains
that others are compelled to wear.
You drool, flutter eyes,
roll about on your fleshy rear end,
and your victims never recover.

And being born
puts those already living on notice.
Their possessions won’t survive the process.
Their focus is indentured to the flush of your cheeks.

Soon enough,
you’ll say their names.
And then those names are yours.
They’ll never get them back.


Nothing to Be Said

Two kids found the body, a local eccentric,
fat, yellow-skinned, wedged between rocks,
the guy they called Jacko or Pisspot,
the crazy loon everyone avoided.

They were negotiating carefully
that part of the river bank,
on the way to their favorite fishing spot,
rods and creels in hand.

What they remember is the
bloated eyes staring up at them,
and the mouth open
as if he was about to speak.

 © John Grey

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty with work upcoming in West Trade Review, Willard and Maple and Connecticut River Review.

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