18: January 2018 #03 - Outbound

Authored by PJ Carmichael


by PJ Carmichael


What am I to say
that hasn’t already been
spoken by the weathered faces

of the elderly, the pursed lips
of those who lament their middle-

(The symphony of sighs stretches
upwards into the ether,
each passing minute
driving impatience
into insanity.)

I aim to respond
to the reactions of contemporaries
but fear my language is outdated.

The clock’s hands slide
from throat to thighs
in a matter of seconds

as bodies, both celestial and unshaven,
worship a blazing orb unknowingly.
(Trains are delayed in predictable

One can see the parallels between
lives when hungry and weary,

though we so often court our
own suffering, leaving others’ out
in the cold, freezing to death

on a park bench in Winter.

An apathetic rush to the exit
begins, only to be held up at the
entrance to each traincar.

(Waiting in line: a stubborn lesson
in patience, a virtue.)

The luxury of sleep
presents itself in the form
of an empty seat by the window.

This isn’t poetry,
merely the end of another day.