Drinking, Early Twentieth: A poem by Joe Hess

By Joe Hess


Drinking, Early Twentieth

 for Jackie Leven

Ballads and white curves
of smoke marooned

in the afternoon, dank
basement eons pass

the screen watchers
below the city. Their eyes

moisten under a canopy
of heating ducts

as concrete entombs
men into pink, timeless

funeral carnations
devoted to anonymous

graves. At midday,
one ascends the stone

steps for a place under
the Midwestern sky.

He pulls out his wallet
of faded names

and numbers assembled
for that day one might

call them all. And white bars
of heaven keep me from you.

Joe Hess received his MA in Poetry from Miami University and his MFA from Ashland University. You can find his work in Marathon Literary Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective,and in the newly released anthology from Shabda Press entitled Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands. His personal website has access to more of his publications at: jmhess.ink

Cover art is by Brian Michael Barbeito.

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer and photographer. His recent work appears at Fiction International and Baphash Literary and Arts Magazine.

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