Four Day Weekend, Brian Rihlmann

Monday begins as a whisper
on Wednesday evening
I hear these things now
things I didn’t hear when I was younger

(perspective can be a real drag…)

and as with other hated sounds
I inexplicably perk my ears up
like a hound dog, to listen closely
to the whispers, rather than ignore them

they grow louder, more insistent
they remind me how quickly
the next four—
the next three days will pass
the next two days—
how Sunday, Sunday will pass
and Sunday evening…
four o’clock….then 8, 9, bedtime
I close my eyes and open them

a rainy Monday morning
I drive toward purgatory
(not hell….hell would be more interesting)
as dark puddles spread red lights
across the slick blacktop

we sit in our cars
masks of stoicism
grey busts of Epictetus
a few feet away, yet
in separate worlds
parallel lines that never meet

as the news of the world washes in
a horrible tide of rusted needles
broken buoys
miles of tangled line

we grit our teeth
and take it like grownups
or switch the station

I roll in to the lot
park beside my office building
beneath the bare bones of a sycamore

winter is too real a season
a few leaves rattle in the tree
more lie dead, frozen
in a pathetic and dirty snowbank

the world is brown and grey
it will remain this way forever
says my demon

I don’t want to be here…
now…
but where else could I be?

today, this deadly now
hangs on my neck
a heavy cowbell
a tin cup against the bars
a dull and hollow ring

*

Brian Rihlmann was born in New Jersey and currently resides in Reno, Nevada. He writes free verse poetry, and has been published in The Blue Nib, The American Journal of Poetry, Cajun Mutt Press, The Rye Whiskey Review, and others. His first poetry collection, “Ordinary Trauma,” (2019) was published by Alien Buddha Press.

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