B r a d   R o s e

Since Dad Left

On my street, the trees
don’t know their names.

Paper boys are paper girls,
who invisibly arrive and vanish at dawn.

Our house, the one
the color of milk,

is surrounded by blue, shivering roses.
Its shouting windows

are sealed, but un-curtained,
so the neighbors can peer

into the living room, where no one lives,
as my mom parades around nude, again,

to prove to the sofa and chairs from Sears
she’s not dead yet, Mister,

not by a goddamned long shot.

After Hours

I peer through the barbershop’s darkened windows.
They are black as a pair of new shoes.
At the back, a glowing, blue-calm ember,
as the TV watches itself.
Up front, the cash register, drawer half-open,
waving its own kind of sad farewell.