Darrell Petska

The Body Politic Yet, considering despair,he turns away.This marvelously improbableconglomerate of gangling appendages,grasping fingers and toesstill aching for tree limbs,its beaked bobbleheadarrayed with orifices and protrusionsseen through his glooms,makes light of his rages,mocks his setbacks,calls his bluff—the war drum booms within,rousing him to tug his pantsbeyond that indiscreetknob of sex organ,replenish his overblowngas bladders,and advance toward his creepingevolution.

The Genie Beyond flesh and bone,beyond brain,safely secreted,the essence, lodestone,progenitor of all he is,elusive as a will-o'-the-wisphovering alwaysjust beyond reach,drawing him forth,pull unremitting—it’s there,genie in his bottle,slowly suffocating,desperate for releaseyet hiding,afraid of what he is.

Miners A drywall punching bagseparates neighbor and me.Whose fist will first break throughto gauge the other’s gloom before retreating to its own?Unkind fates have buffeted us,calloused our hearts, grieved our souls.Day drives us cursing toward night. Neighbor and I punch the wall,punch the wall—jackhammers pummeling darknessto punish the shafts we’re trapped in. Our efforts make scant headway.Slowly we suffocate,anger our only sunlightin this prelude to our tombs.

Darrell Petska, a retired university editor from Madison, Wisconsin, publishes fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His work appears in journals such as Buddhist Poetry Review, Nixes Mate Review, Right Hand Pointing, Boston Literary Magazine, Verse-Virtual, and Loch Raven Review. (conservancies.wordpress.com)