My Last Dollar


My Last Dollar

My last dollar walked out arm in arm with my last hope
for the month and my dignity.

Clint Eastwood’s bloody face is on the television
full of spite.
There is a woman on his arm who pretends that need is love.

The room is dark and there’s trash on the floor.
Someone has given up caring.
Someone should do something about that.

My soul aches for the things I should be doing
and my forehead pulses in time with the second hand of the clock.

Commercials and talking heads grab at my eyes
like rodents, or barefoot children, clamoring for attention.
I shut it off and sit disgusted.
My mood is black enough to dim the lamp.

Water that should be beer
slips past my tongue, grey and tasteless.
My lips are cracked.

The pressures of disbelief
repercussions of doubt
mold new patterns of behavior,
mistakes and poor choices.
I am no better than a piece of coal
full of potential, to burn, to shape
a diamond I will become, but not yet.
Now, I’m only a lump of dirt.

The man wanted me to respond, please.
To acknowledge his question
It’s good to want things.
The man wants me to be something else
and I want to smash his face for being what he is
and for being what I’m not.
No one gets what they want.


© 2007 Anthony Sell

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