I turn the blue milk crate over and plastic bottles
spill out – ricocheting and pooling on the cement
floor of the receptacle. He shuffles by as I hurl
crushed cardboard into a separate stall. Wearing
pilled sweatpants and a stained gray sweat shirt.
Sweatpants that ride up and reveal red, swollen
ankles. His stomach sags below his shirt – etched
with veins. He shuffles by, I smile and he hangs
his hooded head. I climb into my car and there he
is in my rearview mirror – a gray cloud scudding
across a blue sky. One of his pockets turned out –
a white flag whipping back and forth in the wind.
This poem was previously published in Loch Raven Review (Summer 2008)
Corey Cook is the author of three chapbooks: Rhododendron in a Time of War, What to Do with a Dying Parakeet, and Flock. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Aurorean, Brevities, Children, Churches and Daddies, The Legendary, Milk Sugar, and Muddy River Poetry Review, among others. He received his BA at New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. Corey edits The Orange Room Review with his wife, Rachael.
Erin Sweeney is an artist whose current work combines fibers, text, and the book form. She completed her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking at the University of the Arts in Pennsylvania, and holds a BFA in sculpture from the Maine College of Art in Maine. She shows her work nationally, most recently at Anderson Creative in Canton, Ohio. Erin is also an instructor, teaching book arts workshops at her Lovely In The Home Press, in Peterborough, New Hampshire.