John Korn Pittsburgh, PA poet

New Years Meat

I remember 1986
And so far four hours deep into
I remember at least 120 minutes of 2016 so far
I watch a car drive up Cornell avenue
From my window
It’s headlights illuminate
A tar concrete strip of road
A Car
Just a car
So many others
Emerges out from the shadows
And then is swallowed back into
I would’ve missed it
if I had not looked to my left
Now it’s gone
Christmas lights
Tacked to the houses across the street
and black tree limbs reach out like long witch fingers
This is all I see
at the moment
Who was in that car?
Woman or man?
Drunk or sober?
What was swimming in the driver’s head?
Could have been a plumber
Could have fought in a war
Could have shot a man in the chest
Watched him die
On a strip of dry sand in a country far from here
Could have been anyone really
Maybe he slices processed meat
In a deli
Gives people stacks of Ham wrapped in plastic bags
with a white sticker
With a price of 4 dollars a pound
Or she
Maybe she
Injects flu shots into the flesh
Of many arms each fall
Anyway they are gone now
Whoever they were
They are gonna die
Are all
To die
If that car stopped
Outside to change
A flat
Or asked me for directions
I would have ran out and helped
You bet I would
And when my help was done
I would have said
One day
We’ll be dead
They would have asked “huh?”
And I would’ve said
Dead meat!
4 dollars a pound
Then kissed whoever they
On their
Future dead meat

john korn draw

John Korn in a Pittsburgh poet, artist, and the author of Television Farm, which includes the poem  “14 Young Women”  —a poem nominated for a Pushcart Prize.


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