AKEITH WALTERS

Walking Through Cobwebs

My thoughts

slide into bedroom slippers
to pace about the carpet,
walking planks of early sunlight,

waiting for me
to wake with a cup of tea in bed,

when they stop to see

the poem I wrote late last night
still at rest on the desk,

where the lamp is lit

and the dust disturbed

by what’s left of a pencil stub
with no eraser head.

Supine By Chance

or in the vernacular, lying in the street

Stardust,

radiant
ash,

and how the end begins,

the shift in songs from the radio
at rest on the windowsill
five stories up over the sidewalk
before the accidental drop,

becomes the something or another

of tone-deaf clay
unanimated on the spot
as it lays itself down
with one heel on the road
and one not.

Toes point to the sky
as if knowing which way to go

when the lyrics of life
have become a celestial hum on the tongue
for all the words left unsung in a moment

on a walk
down the street to meet the ice cream truck

or the bus
for a ride to a dusty nap in a city library

or just to indulge in the lust
of looking at the sunset once more
in between buildings
housing plenty of singing somebodies

made of stardust
gleaming in the ashy dusk
left behind by the fading light.

You Know, Star-Crossed And All That

Somedays,
my best friend Ray and me take our shoes off
to walk on the thick skin of our soles
while we wonder again where the sidewalk ends.

Usually, we do this on Tuesdays in a dare
to wave to each other from across corner lots.

Our families forbid us to be friends.

I’m also forbidden to go pass the streetlight,
even though Ray only lives 5 houses around
and down the next block.

Somedays,
he presses his face
against the chain-link fence out back
as he waits for me to climb over
where it runs behind our houses.

And sometimes I get stuck at the top
when my shirt snags on the thick metal wire.

The diaper I wear under my jeans bunches up
and gets in the way of an easy straddle.

Being 82 doesn’t help.

But Ray’s patient.
He’s sweet on me and me on him.

He’s nearly 93
with a sloping back and bad ankle
and he’s a really encouraging boyfriend,
especially when it’s a late Saturday afternoon
and I’m holding an extra lunchtime pudding cup
between my teeth as I try to unsnag my shirt.

I may sway and totter a bit
but usually I make it to his side of the ground,
landing mostly upright on bare feet.

Hopefully, we won’t get any snow
before the streetlights come on
when I have to be home.

My toes get really cold,
even with their thick skin.

And hopefully,
someday I won’t have to climb a fence
just to spend time with Ray.

© Akeith Walters 2020

For Akeith Walters, words are the art of his heart. His literary credits include publication in a numerous online and print anthologies and literary journals. At day’s end, he likes to sit with a mug of ice melting in bourbon while he contemplates the difference between poetry and prose. The latter is more difficult to pen down, but sometimes when the room is quiet and still, the stories will hang around like cigarette smoke exhaled in frustration.