Not from the Common Cup

No one else called you Lester. No one knows
I broke your typewriter
save you. No one will call me

Esther now. I see the jumbled mass
of timber holding up the Grain Belt
billboard sign. It doesn’t change

even when the river below breaks
open mid-sigh after months
of rigid silence.

Cross out drunk—
write down sick.
This city turns a green

we tried to dye that windbreaker.
Remember the stranger who left it
on your veranda above the cobbler’s shop.

Nothing is wasted
in this world—is a lie.

He’s got to work. The banging has stopped
for you. For me, I’m left holding
jokes no one else gets—inside out.

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