by Tim J Brennan
Over coffee, we talk
circles and directions,
north, because I am
John cannot remember
how to spell the city
he now lives in, nor knows
the zip code—
praise is between us, debt also,
my one palm open for us both
faith is still with me, he says,
a nod toward his wife
his own palms lie up,
floating, almost like
they are waiting
for each other
a semblance of answer
for this kind of madness.
He brought me champagne
for my first theater festival
in Lincoln Park, Illinois,
a basement theater
he told me in a mentor’s voice,
when the first line is spoken watch
how the light is in each breath
of the actors—
how God empties his pockets
of all small change: a penny
and three nickels will roll
away during each act
When his umbrella doesn’t open
before we leave, John laughs,
I wonder if it comes from China?
it’s raining enough to darken streets,
dryness disappears in a blink—
Nancy told me to not take him far,
…and for God’s sake, keep an eye out,
he wanders in an instant these days.
On the way to the cafe, store fronts
flick by like a nervous twitch ~
I tap-tap-tap on the steering wheel.
At a stop light, an old man leans
over a trash bin, face clenched,
takes off his coat, puts it on,
twice in thirty seconds
Look at that, Sonofafabitch
doesn’t know this day from last—
where are we going again?
Coffee, John, it’s right around
And we both stare ahead,
not another word spoken
until we arrive.
Tim J Brennan’s poetry can be found in Minnesota Voices, KAXE public radio, Volume One, Barstow & Grand, Talking Stick, Bright Light Stories in the Night, RockPaperPoem, etc. Brennan’s one act plays have played across the USA, including Milwaukee, Colorado Springs, Ypsilanti MI, Waxhaw NC, Taos NM, Chagrin Falls OH, and Lexington KY; also internationally in England & Mexico.