The last days of Charlie

a poem by

Charlie

Cell phone junkies, cigarette rapists
capitalize small town America
We’ve no room for your black and white T.V.
Bunny ear antennas

Telephones and flashlights
A woman cries in the background
A small child digs for food in a local garbage
We can’t hear your lonesome beepers
We can’t see your industrial growth

Broken satellite dish in the sky
The wind sings a quiet song, a quiet whisper as it
rustles through leaves in a nearby park

The protege waits for his lessons
an executive attends a meeting
Guy with cool van, warm smile listens to his AM/FM radio
I’m in love with a Chinese Milkmaid

Listening in on Suburban neighbours we analyze the discussion
It seems the local team lost the game on friday night

“That Anderson boy has a good arm”
says the man trimming his hedges
“Might even make the state championship”
And as the last hedge is trimmed the man checking
his mail says “Yeah”
SATURDAY MORNING DISASTER
And as he puts away his shears he brings the grill from the garage
“Real good running offense” he says
The neighbour flipping through his mail says nothing
at all as his wife loads two large suitcases into a
red top convertible
As the man stands over the steaming grill he watches his neighbour
slowly walk back into the house
The red top convertible pulls off and down the street past mailboxes
and sprinklers
His wife brings out the barbecue sauce.
“what just happened?”
“Susan just left again”

Dust filled attics and children’s rooms in the night
polyester couches feel smooth to the touch
Teenage girl waiting for a phone call

Business suits cover the tracks of a heroin user’s last high
a gray mist fills the room as we drop ice cubes into
our fragile glasses.