what is it?

by Jarrad Ackert



-what is it?  what is it?
laying in bed
sun pops the cork
terror of sick stomach and sleep
sadistic coaches
hair, cigarette, drool
dried shampoo on a shower corner
the waist of a ghost

-what is it?  what is it?
two bus rides across the city
tired eyes, disgusting minds
a brilliant cold air on the back of my neck
girl with long hair and legs who never looks up
the diner with bold yellow sign
cracking eggs   churning coffee   electrocuting potatoes
the retirees   the broke   the busy
the lonely

(if i had the guts
to pull the stop-cord right there
i’d get kicked off anyway for a terrible laughter)

-what is it?  what is it?
hours of rolled-up sleeves
terrified glances at the cute lunchlady
wheels rolling  exchanges made
the stupid mob of uninteresting teen lives
which looks so interesting
moment warm
sweeping broom to pan
low hum of a machine
falling from the ceiling
what is it?  what is it?


it’s not much, but it’s almost never.


stoopid animal
too stupid to be an animal
turns toward the clock:


flush the alarm before Father spanks it into the sun!


sprayed   dressed
with variables of Good


adapted to a  kind of        air   light
food    communication


morphed into the shape of a chair
or broken of shape altogether


always going
going towards tomorrow-



We live in memory.
Do not build me a gravestone.
Do not even look at me.



Jarrad Ackert is the author of Tetrachord and lives in Rochester.