A veil of sun
shimmered on the lake;
a grove of pines
blurred in its wake.
Skinny girls teased
with burnt-cork eyes,
smoking Camels and
Glare lifted like fog;
the heat bloomed,
like a spreading fire
through the afternoon.
came off their chairs;
they staggered down
to the sunburned square.
Crushed by drink,
they stomped and cried
their dirty oaths
at the steaming sky.
The girls felt glee;
they felt their best.
They disrobed to show
their mothers’ breasts –
splendid and raw –
for the dazzled men,
that pitiless day
at summer’s end.
Middle Age Folly
Lurching hole-eyed and numb, he wondered if talking might
help. Maybe he could regain their respect that
way; he could show wisdom as the product of his experience.
He rehearsed during wretched nights: “Did you ever
look into a mirror and see something lower than dog shit?”
He gripped sheets as fever wrung him, sweat blistering
his skin. “I don’t mean that as a metaphor. I mean, really
lower than dog shit.” But he understood that it was
useless to try and get their attention, all those smug bastards.
He needed to feel bigger, but he knew he was smaller.
It was worse than those days in high school, when they
kicked his skinny little ass. This was no way to finish, it
should happen near the start: the agony that you fight through,
and laugh about years later.
Mitchel Montagna is a corporate communications writer for a large professional services firm. He has also worked as a radio news reporter and a special education teacher. His poetry has appeared in The Penwood Review, Naturewriting, Poetry Life and Times, and PEEKS and valleys. His fiction has appeared in Amarillo Bay. He is married and lives in New Jersey.