Poke

i can never remember
how old i am
when people ask
i throw a dart
somewhere between
twenty-three and
twenty-nine

                        (married life
                        is like that)

my wife is a
homely black
leather seat cushion
named peggy or anne

                        (or something)

we’re in a toxic relationship
the two of us
she’s too clingy
especially on
sunny summer days
my skin fuses to her
in return i bathe her
in my literal toxic fumes
from arm pits to ass

                        (an ass that gets jealous when
                        other asses sit on her)

i don’t really like talking about her
i don’t like talking about work either
or my weekend plans
or what I want for dinner

                        (doesn’t leave much to talk about)

when I’m with the people
i love the most
instead of talking
i like poking them
in the arm
            the face
                        the ribs
                                    the nose.
no talking

                        (just poking)

when i poke
i’m reminded
of a time when
a plate full of broccoli
was the worst thing
that could happen

when i poke
i’m reminded
of a time when
a kiss on your
scrapes and cuts
really did make
it all better.

when i poke
i’m reminded
of a time when
monsters were slain with
a plastic sword in the
in the back yard

so i poke
            and poke
                        (and poke)

sometimes
when i’m driving
i see
            bullseyes
                                    on
the freeway’s
center divider

                        (but I go forward)

and when my fingers
twitch on the steering wheel

                        (i hold them steady)

and i keep going forward

                        (and always will)

as long as
            someone out there
                        is poking me back

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