One Poem by Steven Clifford

My Bunk-Mate

The floor’s underside, 
(a skeletal whale divided, Geppetto exposed to
zooming circular traffic, collecting yoga-mat-comfort)
dunked the world. Hell and heaven fuck on the surface.
Divine silence, tainted,  
seeps through,

lazy agnosticism 
on a 
zen futon, a mall-well of dreams, trafficking transparently. 
That’s where I met Manhattan Buddha. 
He works as a grill cook now. 
He’s writing me letters on basement illumination. “Watch cartoons at 1 a.m.  
and ignore tomorrow.”

A man I’ve only known on smoke breaks sleeps in the other room.  
He’s a retired lawyer, an atheist with relationship skills. A hello is a hug for him.  
He promises me he’ll read my poetry. 
“Keep reading a book if you don’t understand it,
Stop reading a poem if it’s boring at the first line.”

He dated a healer once.
He told me she’s crazy. She was sweat to me,
but I trusted the: his eyes were at low tide by his own words.

“Brew your own coffee
that way you can control its intensity.
Try exotic blends sometimes.”

Buddha sneaks out to met me by the bay. 
He’s all right with being the only one smoking. 

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