Bio Note: I am a poet and songwriter living in Oakland, California with my wife and son. I got an M.A. in creative writing from San Francisco State in 1995, but went dormant creatively until 2015, when poetry became both a daily meditation and a daily obsession. Since then my poems have been published in The Main Street Rag, The Blue Nib, and many other journals, and I published my first chapbook, Arks, with Selcouth Station Press in May 2021.
Sometimes lying in bed past midnight I remember you hunched over clasped hands tilted to your forehead tears dropping fat and heavy to the poured concrete floor. When my dorm room neighbor knocked late one evening and told me you had jumped from the top floor of the science building I thought of that moment in the church— how no one noticed but me.
Mumbly Old Men
You kids may not believe it, but there was a time when people held the New York Times in ink-stained hands, slouched behind its grey expanse at breakfast, or clutched it tight in quarter folds on the crowded subway train, elbows tight against their sides, like ramrod readers. You may think your phone holds the world in all its vivid pixelated wonder, but not long ago we held the universe in our actual hands— fluff of dandelion, cool of leather catcher’s mitt, brittle blue of robin’s egg, warmth of lover’s palm. You may read this now and laugh, the way we laughed at our own fathers and grandfathers, their stories of clattering horse-drawn hacks, mumbly peg on the way to school, knife flashing like an airborne minnow, barely missing someone’s leg, clunk and quiver, metal in wood.
You Don't Know
If you always work at home you don’t know the soft feel of carpet the musty scent of books the evening light on the mantle the click of the front door the hum of traffic outside the mad leaping of the dog when you get home.
©2022 Scott Waters
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