Poetry from Joseph Schupbach

baths are fleeting

you are a pipping hot bathtub
doomed to cool to at least
seventy-two degrees farenheit
at which point i will peel up
the rubber stopper and towel
off my cold damp body

you are gallons of water sipping
away eight cigarettes and three
cups of tea and hints of urine and
peeling cuticals and looming falafel

my bulbous toes tongue the plug
anticipating the inevitable draining
ignoring assorted hairs swimming
below the surface tension
the bath seeping into my head
kissing my drum and cochlea

cigarette break

a rooftop cigarette break brings relief
from the forty-four-year-old terror
decorating the christmas tree downstairs

mimosa branches scrape the dark and sweltering
night sky – my ears search santiago’s  rooftops for
evidence of life aside from muffled reggaeton and salsa

your precocious spanglish lingers in my periphery
as my eyes digress towards mountains wrapped
in twinkle lights and alleys littered with tinsel

jazz breeds contempt

i sip gin sleepily as the singer belts out
you are one button short of trash 

i think of you pricking my finger
on your sleepy spindle

of you serving me your famous
cakey blackbird flapjacks

of you  dressing me in your
transparent slacks and blouses

of you distracting me with your
treacherously soiled apples

an enthused murmur brings me back
to tracing fellow bar-goers with my pupils

i giggle at an internal rhyme and am hushed
at this moment i long to be an introvert

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