How many words here,
in this three-inch yellow chalk?
Hundreds. Thousands. One.

In the stall, a turd,
stinking in stinking urine.
The stinking bastard.

To me (in mirror):
Like William, see double, you!
From me. (In mirror.)

I bring to my lips
this fourth cup of black coffee.
But not in friendship.

Going out, he said,
Fridays are so beautiful!
Always are, the dead.

What? A hummingbird
up here in February?
Sun on green light. Red.

No doubt accomplished.
Still we’re returning this batch.
They’re not what we wished.

J.R. Solonche has published poetry in more than 400 magazines, journals, and anthologies since the early 70s. He is the author of Beautiful Day (Deerbrook Editions), Won’t Be Long (Deerbrook Editions), Heart’s Content (Five Oaks Press), Invisible (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by Five Oaks Press), The Black Birch (Kelsay Books), I, Emily Dickinson & Other Found Poems (Deerbrook Editions), In Short Order (Kelsay Books), Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday (Deerbrook Editions), True Enough (Dos Madres Press), The Jewish Dancing Master (Ravenna Press), If You Should See Me Walking on the Road (Kelsay Books), In a Public Place (Dos Madres Press), To Say the Least (Dos Madres Press), The Time of Your Life (Adelaide Books), The Porch Poems (Deerbrook Editions), Enjoy Yourself (Serving House Books), Piano Music (Serving House Books), For All I Know (Kelsay Books), A Guide of the Perplexed (Serving House Books), The Moon Is the Capital of the World (Word Tech Communications), and coauthor of Peach Girl: Poems for a Chinese Daughter (Grayson Books). He lives in the Hudson Valley.

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