By Jim Davis


I got your back, brother.

Ortega, in his youth, could move mountains.

Hands and knees in prayer. Our unified position

of expendable cells. I have had a cold

for seven days, I have offended

the old men doing crossword puzzles, and the woman

who fills my cup, because every forty-three seconds

I clear my nose like a wild honking goose.

I spend most of my free time alone.

This morning, ladybugs clicked the porcelain

enclosure of the ceiling lamp. And Ortega is on the run

from Reganite Contras – they’ve made a game of it.

I used to play it when I was young, when I could

move mountains. The problem with writing

in a diner with congestion is the hard, recycled

napkins that chafe your nose. Plus, if you are not

careful, you’ll spread the germs. Instead,

drug them. I’m telling you, I’m the most well-

adjusted lunatic you’ll ever want to meet.

Brother, I got so caught up

I almost forgot to tell you about the girl

who smiled at me from behind the pharmacy counter.

I was red-eyed and unshaved, had my hood up.

But she curled her lips briefly, and that was enough

for me to fall head over heels.



Jim Davis is a graduate of Knox College and now lives, writes and paints in Chicago. Jim edits the North Chicago Review, and will be appearing as the feature artist for the upcoming issue of Palooka Magazine. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in After Hours, Blue Mesa Review, Poetry Quarterly, The Ante Review, Chiron Review, and Contemporary American Voices, among others.

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