January 1998 / Volume One / Issue One
David Bates
sober

if I listen to punk music
I can do 20 push-ups

it's the best I can do
to beat        the time

between zero and 21

the ringing in my head
the dots against my lids

             (one in the middle
               vibrating)

and the hippy upstairs
practicing his guitar

and the drunks in the parking lot
smashing bottles into the dumpster

the rhythm in my fingertips
the pull of a loose toenail

against the bedspread
listening to my beard grow
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