June 8, 2008
By Matthew Kosinski, Howell, NJ

So you wake up,
and the sun is
burning your eyes.
You put on a pot of coffee
and just as the morning
starts to slowly drip
through a paper filter,
you step outside for
a cigarette.
The smoke makes you sick,
but you're inhaling
a pack a day just because
you feel naked without them.

You walk back inside
and the coffee's done.
You hate it black,
but you're out of milk
and almost out of a place
to live, so you choke it
down just to chase the sleep away.

Suddenly, black coffee's not so bad.
Suddenly, your parents' house doesn't seem so bad.

By noon, you're out the door
and off to work,
a part-time job
that barely pays.
You love it and you want to stay,
but every day it fades more
and more until the picture
is static and the puzzle pieces
are too shuffled to find
the right ones.
You communicate in sighs
and every step's a spiral
staircase to a locked door
you're always pounding on,
to no avail.

When the sun's finally
setting and your legs
are dangling over the edge
of an old wooden pier,
you light another cigarette
and hum a comforting tune,
something familiar
that you know all the words to,
but you feel too defeated
to annunciate tonight.

If it bleeds, it bleeds.
Wrap it up and start again.
If it breaks, it breaks.
Throw it out and find a new one.
We're all starving for something.
Cameras or clarity,
a friend or a place to sleep.

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