In the Town Square

Alexander Perez

September 9, 2022


Clockworks stop: belltower chimeless.
I light my last candle to pass an hour.
It’s only a matter of time.

Orphaned children play
in the dirty snow
singing patriotic songs.

Peaceful rest I envy.
Soldiers bored of war.
Only a matter of dying.

When the furniture is burned,
the starving cats cannot hide.
I eye them greedily.

Simpler in the dark:
nothing to catch the eye.
Strong heartbeats wasted on silence.

Panicked knocking on the door.
They’ve given the news.
Only the wind comes visiting.

I yearn for sensation,
the sharp sting of a sewing needle.
No more thread to darn my socks.

Morning turns my toes
blue to black.
Smell marches to memory.

No more orphaned children
in the dirty snow
singing patriotic songs.

How has death spent the night?
Speedily, I presume,
quicker than a bullet.

I go down to the shore
to see what’s drifted in,
if there is a single piece of wood.

Breakfast time: I lick my fingers.
Pelts discarded on the floor.
It was only a matter of time.

In 2022, Alexander Perez (he/him), a gay, Latino/Hispanic poet, published in The Quarter(ly), South Florida Poetry Review, Cerasus Magazine, Ouch! Collective, Queer Toronto Literary Magazine, New Note Poetry Magazine, Variety Pack Literary Magazine, Literary Yard, The Voices Project, and Whisky Blot. The Poetry Barn and Arts Society of Kingston selected his poetry to appear in a gallery exhibit entitled “Poetic License 2022.” Website: perezpoet.press. Instagram/Twitter: @perezpoet Facebook: @aperezpoetry