The Things You Tell Strangers

i’m addicted to muscle relaxers -
see i’ve got a handful of prozacs and zolofts
in my pocket right now,
or i just stabbed my boyfriend
who came home with lipstick on his collar
and a mouth dripping with rum,
or i steal jewelery, earrings and watches
from the people i babysit for
and pawn them down the street,
or i’m here illegally
living in an abandoned basement,
and i’m afraid i’ll get caught,
or i prance around
in my wife’s panties on tuesdays
when she’s at tupperware parties -

or i’m settling
i know he’s not the one-
at least that’s what i told the taxi driver…

the solitary bird
who sits beyond my window pane
craning his neck out of a wiry nest
as if i were actually important and
my voice carried some real weight
i confess to him

the bird preens himself and my words
settle between black plumes,
his shining blue chest puffed up with air,
he won’t tell a soul, i think
no one would believe that screechy grackle anyway
he takes off, disrupting twigs with his claws,
and he lands far away in the blue sky
on a telephone wire, between two sparrows,
he chirps
creating a small dip in the line

the way i felt
that day on the street-
the taxi’s exhaust in my face
its tires screeching away
leaving me behind

Meredith Jones.

If you've any comments on this poem, Meredith Jones would be pleased to hear them.

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