cherry bomb 

it wasn't the 4th of July, 
i didn't need an excuse. 

i held the cherry bomb, 
lit the fuse, held it. 

"okay," arthur said, "throw." 
but i didn't throw it, 

i held on.  "come on, man." 
the fuse was running down 

and i watched it, transfixed. 
"you're a crazy son of a bitch!" 

i held it, palmed in my hand, 
only the fuse showing, already 

below half way and burning fast, 
the smell of it deep in my nose. 

arthur started to run, 
and i looked at him, running, 

but i didn't care-- my life 
was torture, and when it wasn't 

it was nothing. when i looked back 
at the cherry bomb, it was my heart. 

i was alone with the cherry bomb. 
i was alone with my heart. 

i held on, held it in my hand, 
as the fuse burned to the red. 

arthur running away, 
i waited for it to explode, 

but nothing happened. 
the cherry bomb was a dud, 

exactly like my heart. 
i dropped it on the ground, 

started to walk away, 
and then it happened. 

a loud pop, it bounced 
off the building walls, 

came back to me, screaming. 
i stood there silently looking 

at the black scar on the sidewalk 
while arthur made his way back to me 

with another one.  

4:41 AM in the lightning capital 

just got woken up 
BAM!  by some serious lightning 
and in my pre-wake 
i looked out the tiny window 
of my trailer door which 
is tinted 
and saw beyond it the glow 
of nuclear holocaust 
and thought: 
well, we've done it-- 
please forgive us 

slowly in bits and pieces 
i put it together 
and realized it wasn't the end 
of the world just 
the beginning of a rainy day 
as my thoughts became 
and i understood again the practical 
need of pissing 

and while pissing 
i thought 
just who was i asking to forgive us 
since i don't believe in god 
or any other 
manifestations but our own 

but it wasn't a bad way to have awaken 
and perhaps 
this world would be a better place 
less violent more compassionate 
if more people 
were startled awake each 
morning and uttered 
well we've done it-- 
please forgive us 

somehow it still fits 
even if it's not 
the day after 

but tuesday 


i found this 
at work somebody 
left it 
on the counter 

as if it 
was put 
there just for 

so now i have 
this knife 
sitting on my desk 
and every 
now and then 
i open it up and 
look at it 

it is one of 
hunting knives 
with the bristled 

i notice it 
is very 
sharp and could 
open a vein 

i am not suicidal 
at the moment 
but you 
never know when 
that thought will 

i better get 
rid of 
this damn thing 
i still can 

this might 
be somebody's 
ingenious plot to get 
rid of me 

maybe even 
my own 

(c) 1998, by James Valvis 

ZC Poetry Page