Poetry by Robert Joe Stout

Just Circumstance

Halfway between the dining room
and kitchen, coffee cup in hand,
I realize my living space is empty:
no one there. Table,
bureau, chairs indicate
the presence of a someone
—me?—but I am off somewhere:
Paris, Comitàn, alligator skinning
in the Everglades. Or thirteen
reading Shelley and Sexology,
twenty-four and blurry-eyed from too much beer.
Looking back from somewhere else
I sense who I might be,
alone within a room
of crowded images—lovers, friends, antagonists—
all more real
than what I see looking down
at parquet tile, a steaming cup,
wastebasket filled with throwaways.
This isn’t life, just circumstance. I lift the bat,
pump once and swing and see
what-was-her-name? wink
knowingly, hands on the snaps
of her thin, tight brassiere.

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About Robert Joe Stout

A former Ray’s Road Review contributor, Robert Joe Stout is a freelance journalist, poet, and fiction writer in Oaxaca, Mexico. His latest work has appeared in Garbanzo, Pinyon, Abbe,y and Exit 13.