Three poems by Scott Laudati

Arrested Development

her parents said

-believe in God

-believe in yourself

-believe in family

-don’t have sex it will

leave you


i thought of

these things, and

many other things

as she pulled into

a park, turned off her headlights

and lit a 


I said, “I

don’t think this is

a good idea”

she took off

her shirt

I said, “I can’t

I’m dirty”

she unhinged her

leopard bra

I said, “jesus,

if I ever have a daughter

there’s no way to stop her,

is there?”

she handed me a

water bottle and

said, Go Clean Off 

her parents were asleep

when we got back, but the goddamn


3 feet shorter than me

100 pounds lighter, but

with a better haircut, said

“I didn’t say you

could come back over”.

he smiled to himself, as if

he had won something

I smiled back, and thought

if that’s what you need

then take it ... I’ve already

helped myself.

I fell asleep

i fell asleep


about lorraine’s


and how she’d

never show

them to me.


she let me


everything no one

else is

ever supposed to


now, at night

i don’t stay up


about our bar


or parking lot


i fall asleep


about lorraine’s


and how she

never showed 

them to me.

the dog days are over


when i lose too much faith in the world-

too many wars

too many police

all going so right

for the wrong,

i look at my dog,





all over my couch.

a wild animal brought in 

to serve a purpose 

that went extinct

with the letter 

and the barn.

and i think “all

this animal has to do 

is shit

in the right place 

and it makes me happy.”

that’s it.

of course, the dog can operate

with no regard because it

doesn’t know the greatest

fear- that someday

it will


but as animals

grow weak,

and the weak

are killed

and eaten,

humans grow old

in community

homes. and sometimes

they’ve lost it, and drool

on bingo boards and smile

at the space between 

them and time. but usually

they haven’t. and 

because they

are old and 

boring they’re

stuck away, to ride out the days alone,

and watch their roommates 

drop out one by one.

and at the end, their very first 

learned lesson becomes their last- 

if they want to keep everyone 


all they have to do is shit in the right place.

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