Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Narrative Poem

Gradually I got to aching so bad
that I couldn't lie still.
I had a fever every day for a few years.
I took out school loans.
I watched a little TV in a little room.
I took pills.
I moved my pills and my little TV from city to city,
watching with delight, with loathing.
The ache withdrew, at long last,
into the foundation,
lapping more softly at the bones.
My lover and I drove to Canada
and bought codeine.
We watched a TV movie
in a resort motel in the off-season.
We drove back and rented a house in Baltimore.
We got credit.
We bought a 32-inch TV and a new couch--
two thousand dollars, all told.
I kicked out the driver's side window of our car
in a Denny's parking lot.
I filed an insurance claim;
valuable objects had been taken from the car.
We ran out of codeine.
I couldn't afford to get the window fixed.
We drove all winter with the window down.
Our neighbor gave us an old aquarium
and I bought two piranha.
I feed them a goldfish every morning.
Sometimes one will get its head and its tail torn off;
even so, it swims around the tank awhile.

-Joe Wenderoth