Poems by John Dorroh

Snow Pile

I blew my breath into a pile of snow
for you to sniff and find like a bloodhound.
You were always good at that – digging up details,
dirt, as it were, finding pieces of fermenting skin,
pulverized eyeballs, mysterious lint from pieces
of clothing that you did not recognize.
The cold, black mailbox at the end of the driveway
waits to feel my touch every day. I open its mouth
wide like a catfish, sticking my hand in for a small
deposit, some food for its empty belly, walking away
like you have done to me a thousand thousand times.
I wait patiently for the delivery, which I know
will be an autopsied matter-of- fact: “Here it is,
this is the problem,” never a kiss for lonely lips.
My affair with the fish is more digestible than any
of the accusations that you refuse to hide in your
own belly, your mouth always depositing words
in my soul that even I can’t find in the snow.

Miserable Old Woman

You won’t drink from my cup
cuz you don’t know where the cup has been
You don’t choose to see the coffee grounds
or the grease in the bottom of the frying pan
cuz it reminds you of sin
Yet you stand there all pious with your arms crossed
sheltering Jesus with your bosom
making sure he don’t see how your heart talks
about those dirty niggah children down at the bus stop
You squeeze the life out of your own cat
cuz she don’t swish her tail the way you want
and I just had to say it before it’s too late
that you are a miserable ole woman
who tries to control everyone
with your crumpled old money
money that is cursed
all the way down
to the weird little eye
that hovers over
the pyramid
on the back
of a one
dollar
bill

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