3 Poems by Patrick Meeds

Honestly, It’s Not for Everyone

After the operation every bump we hit on the ride home
from the hospital made my incisions remember being made.
You know it’s not like you see in the movies at all.
Getting punched in the face hurts way more than it looks.
The same goes for punching someone in the face.
It’s like punching a bowling ball. Knuckles strike bone
or get torn open on teeth, revealing a whiteness
rarely seen. Like a sky full of ice. Like the morning after
a new snow. It’s easy to assume everyone knows everyone
these days. Bicycles are being made from bamboo.
Necessary changes. A hip check to the psyche.
A gut punch to the soul. Layer after layer of overdubs.
Who can tell what’s real and what has been manipulated.
Soon we may all be extinct,
like the Passenger Pigeon, the Pyrenean Ibex, the Golden Toad.
I wish I had taken the chance and asked you to marry me
even though I knew you would have just said no anyway.

I Can Hear The Light

My father was a carny barker.
My mother was an astronaut.

I was born in a funeral home.
I refused your apology for naming me.

I played slide whistle in the choir.
I divined the meaning of the tap dance.

I invented long distances.
I swam the english channel wearing a three piece suit.

I drank the clever solution.
I poisoned the memory of a crow.

I cast an anchor into the soil.
I let the crying sky cry.

I brandished laughter on demand.
I revealed my tiny trebuchet.

I punched a hole in you.
I split your seams.

I baptized you with brine.
I waxed your brow with turpentine.

I barrel-housed with you baby.
I rotated with you wisely.

I sang your silent song.
I memorized your melody wrong.

I repeated several sins.
I travel in drops of rain.

My father was a carny barker.
My mother was an astronaut.

A Life Unsweetened (Oh Yeah!)

The poetic thing to say would be
my blood is the color of a fine red wine,
but I don’t drink. So the more accurate thing to say
would be my blood is the color of Hawaiian Punch.
But I know even that’s not true.
Because every time I do, the Kool-Aid man
comes crashing through the wall
and he’s not bellowing Oh Yeah!
He’s crying Why? Why must you hurt me?
Why do you tell these lies?
Because he knows.
He knows that the guilty blood
that runs through my veins was mixed
up from packets of cheap unsweetened
colored powder. He knows that my childhood
was sitcoms and hand me downs.
Fast food and a derelict Chevy Vega
on flat tires in the side yard.
Some people are money.
Some people are art.
I am textbook.
I can bend spoons with the power of my mind,
but I won’t.

Patrick Meeds lives in Syracuse, NY and studies writing at the Syracuse YMCA’s Downtown Writer’s Center. He has been previously published in Stone Canoe literary journal, the New Ohio Review, Tupelo Quarterly, the Atticus Review, Whiskey Island, Guernica, East by Northeast, Door Is A Jar, and is forthcoming in Jokes Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Doubly Mad.