In a minute I'll tell you

Virginia Conn

I've worked this chip into a full
blown crack, trying to blend
it into the pattern. There's so much
I can't afford to replace, starting a list,
becoming anxious as the losses mount.
I realize I've included your stereo.
Before you, there was my clock radio,
so static with abuse I was forced to move
it out of my sleepy rough reach.

Without music, I am at the mercy
of the El, the garbage trucks at dawn,
the downstairs couple who slam and shout.
I know they're doomed, but should I say it?
Such a treacherous topic to open with;
how quickly it could turn.

I begin a different story, my back to you,
trembling like Scheherazade,
clueless as to where the ending comes.

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The 2River View, 1_1 (Fall 1996)