THREE POEMS by David Centorbi


I thought, one what–then walked to the park, sat on a bench, and watched the pigeons bobbing
around my ankles until the joggers ran past,

some scattered, some flew away, I watched the ones that stayed, but they moved on, the kids a
few benches over had popcorn.

The kids enjoyed throwing it at the birds. The birds didn’t care that the goal was to be hit by the
popcorn, but it made me hungry.

I went to the pretzel cart and ended up with mustard on my shirt. I remembered again what he
said, I was not the one.

After trying to dab the mustard off my shirt, but just causing more of a stain, I began to believe
what he said and thought,

good for him, he saved himself from a lifetime of stained shirts, walks in the park watching
children try to peg pigeons with popcorn, and those big warm salty pretzels from the pretzel cart.

I ended up home. When I walked into that dark quiet place, I realized I was wrong, I was the
one! But he didn’t know it!

Then my phone rang. When I answered, he said he was sorry, that he was just afraid–I thought,
of what–and could he come over. Of course, I said yes, I would like that,

then hurried into the bedroom to change my mustard stained shirt and thought,

am I or aren’t I, sorry or afraid, a mustard stained shirt is the tiebreaker.
So, I just combed my hair

and went back and sat on the couch and waited for his text,
I’m here come open the door.


after WCW

Is it possible to drink a Coffee Stout while eating a Chocolate Long John, a French Cruller,
and a plain glazed with Party Sprinkles from Dunkin’ Donuts?

Of course it is!

That’s why you stared at me trying to comprehend the insanity you witnessed as I pulled those
amazing sugar bombs outta the DD bag, now you see one, now you don’t.

But yes, it would’ve made a lot more sense to you if I drank my usual Starbucks Venti Cold
Brew and ate the donuts,

then again,

I would’ve ordered a warmed up Pumpkin Bread and a Chocolate Croissant.
So, what the hell’s the difference?

Is it more sophisticated ordering Starbucks instead of Dunkin’ Donuts?

At least the beer was Craft, give me that much.

It’s not like I opened a can of PBR Hard Coffee and ate them.

Now, that would’ve have been sweet, cold, and just plain sexy.



Your cheese is always meltier, your black beans always blacker, your tomatoes always redder.
Even your lettuce is greener.

I sit there and watch you build your masterpiece, I think, de Kooning & Pollock. You turn to me
and frown. I think, Mitchell & Frankenthaler. You smile, then hesitate.

It seems like you’re deciding if you should make yours first, or if my painterly conjurings please
you enough to make mine.

To nudge your deliberation a bit more I think, Kahlo, Kahlo, Kahlo.
“Ok, you win,” is what I hope to hear!

Finished, you walk over with the plate, set in front of me, and grab the first nacho chip. I watch a
long yellow cheese streamer follow it to your mouth. I hear the well-deserved crunch:

and I am humbled into the place I belong: where I wait my turn to taste what I know will be
the most nachoey, nachos ever made. But then, I watch you and your masterpiece

head toward the door, you think, Art is Pain, then say, “Bring me a Mango Whiteclaw when you
come out with your plate. I’ll be sunbathing on the terrace.”

David Calogero Centorbi is a writer living in Detroit, MI. His recently published work can be found in The Daily Drunk, Dreams Walking, Versification, Brown Bag Online, and Crepe & Pen. He can be found on Twitter @DavidCaCentorbi.


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