Wednesday, September 28, 2022

soon there will be one less

the gang was huddled together,
some loud regiment of drunks
that found sanctity in the exchange,
one spoke up: “listen boys” he said
“i got cancer…not the good kind,
the other kind”

they drank their beers in silence

i looked away
because in these moments
people look for god
or a social worker
or a priest or
an audience

i looked away
because i came here
looking for a break
but instead thought
about my own
mortality

i looked away
because i saw 
a small fracture 
on the countertop
that looked like
lee harvey oswald

i looked away
because i needed
to write this poem

Tohm Bakelas is a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. He was born in New Jersey, resides there, and will die there. His poems have appeared in numerous journals, zines, and online publications. He has published 18 chapbooks and 2 collections of poetry. His forthcoming collection “The Ants Crawl In Circles” will be published by Whiskey City Press in Summer 2022. He runs Between Shadows Press.  
https://tohmbakelaspoetry.wordpress.com
Instagram: @flexyourhead