Fallen Numb, Beaten Cold – Chuck Harp


With a fist to his temple
and a full can of trash,
another cig is lit
before being tucked
between yellow teeth.
Cracking the window
doesn’t bring in fresh ideas,
just lets the smoke escape.
This he knows
as he taps his ash
out to the traffic,
sprinkling his disgust.
An anger in flight
colliding with the walls
of the tiny office,
ricocheting about before
striking his heart.
The ticker attacks back,
buckling his knees
and hitting the pause button
on his swearing lips.
The fall won’t kill him,
this he knows
as the desk crumbling
under his weight
sending him to the floor
with splinters
and a feeling
of it all unfinished.

Child of the Night

She had a fang
that glittered in the night.
Lying in the hum of the lamp post
we could see her smile
grinning at something
far beyond our being.
A world we never knew
or wished to wander to.
She had a coat
her body slipped into safely
like a turtle retreating
to its filth-coated shell
that housed the homeless
on the cool walkway
separating us from the door
and the gnawing winter
that held us close together.