December 7, 2010

Justin Hyde

there goes the big Brazilian

five years ago
he was
in work release
for breaking
into storage units
to support
a heroin addiction.

and 4am count
i'd often find him
in his bunk
rocking slowly
back and forth
like a metronome.

he started doing it
as a kid
in his
third or fourth
foster home.

i know
silly thing
for a grown man
to do,
is what
he told me
back then.

like a cat.

there he goes
down Crocker
past the
coffee shop window
in a
light rain.

this dude in my bed

three foot six
forty two pounds
crawling over me
like a mountain goat
time to wake up daddy
he says in that coy
sing song
that torques a smile
out of the deepest hangover
i'll wake you up punk
i say
gathering him in a bear hug
playfully chewing his ear
your breath smells like dog poop daddy
well your breath smells like iguana poop
nu-uh your breath smells like buffalo pee
speaking of pee
how about you go potty
he uses my razor
to reach the light switch
slide over mortimer
i say
as we both straddle the thing
swords daddy
yellow swords he says
swinging wildly
right down
my leg.

the place-mat at the vietnamese restaurant

informed me
my oriental zodiac
is the horse

it went on
about my
psychological makeup

the final
sentence of which
has stuck
with me
three days now:

you need people,
it said
in simple

i'm not sure
why it
took me
thirty-two years
and a place-mat
to fully realize
a fundamental sickness
in me.

i do
need people.
i've been denying it
from a
young age

throwing them off
as if
letting people in
was a weakness.

this is
a revelation
worth noting

something to
bounce off a
trusted friend.

but of course
on the porch
during a rainstorm

i have no one
to tell it to
but this
bottle of beer.


Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works with criminals.

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