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sick day

Steve Barichko

playing hooky from work wife and kids

gone since seven this morning

i drove through new haven to park

at union station and walk whalley avenue

in the cold collar up

on my bomber a college girl

in rosegold knit and leggings blushes

past me on the sidewalk turns to look

as i duck into crown fried chicken

two old black guys sitting

on the ledge of the attorney’s office

across the street shit talking get quiet

when i come back out

finishing my drumstick in the cold

greasy paper plate catching the wind

between the dumpster and the building

i light a cigar and as i pass them one mumbles

now this motherfucker here

i pass a woman

as the wind picks up hear her

drop her bag her baby cries in the stroller

i turn around into it her hair

in her face stroller top blown up blankets blown

off him and i pick up her things

and cover her son tell her

my favorite thing is my daughter

waking me up in the middle of the night

just to say hi

she says the obligatory

she must be very lucky

and a part of me knows

i’ve still got it

Steve Barichko is from Connecticut. His work has most recently appeared in The Closed Eye Open. His first full length poetry collection, Apocrypha, will be out mid 2024. Find him on Insta and Twitter @stevebarichko.

Stephen Kingsnorth
Mutter Matter

Steve Barichko
all the sylvia plath death photos on the internet are fake

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