“Where Do You Think These Thoughts Stem From?” by Stephen J Golds

“Where Do You Think These Thoughts Stem From?”

Trying to explain 

to the fat quack 

slurping at a styrofoam coffee cup, 

after all the bullfights, all the women, the Nobel,

Paris, Michigan and all those green hills in Africa, 

Hemingway still ended it all 

in an early hours kitchen 

with that shotgun. 

The fat quack,

he too,

one day will rot in the ground 

and the pretty receptionist who cleared her throat, avoiding my eye contact, 

the old man selling newspapers from a cardboard box and the girl selling woodblock prints from a market stall, the bus driver with his wooly sweaters, too.

Everyone who walked away with hands bloodied,

every woman I called mine with candle in hand,

mother, father, sibling, friend, 

broken bones in decomposed materials.

A time when your name 

is uttered carelessly into a dwindling, twilight space 

for the final, 

last time.

The fat quack nods, his leather chair squeaks,

writing me a subscription,

I will throw in a trash can on the way to a bar.