Under Human Lines

Under Human Lines~ Joseph Altamore

“ur CUTE!”

the email says 

from some girl in your

spam folder
you sit in bed 

in your

vomit-crusted t-shirt,

the gnarls in your hair

battling the matted, greasy valleys,

the circles of your eyes

like canyons,

jaundiced, yellowing skin,

blood pouring forth from

a split winter lip,

socks a week old,

pants a week old,

beard a week old
you stare out the window

under human lines,

at the bustling street, sleety 


bleared through 

the backwashed film-caked

the frost

leapt forward to snap with the morning


glossing the whole urban world

in a blanched 

the traffic lights wink,

the horns curse,

the working men writhe

in their safety belts

in your childhood, the
changes were slow 

as the hours of new&hesitant love,

enamor with the world 

was honest and

full of laughter
but now,

god is twirling the planet 

on his finger

like a living basketball

earth transpires;
a glassy-eyed addict prays, his

fingers bitten by the bible

clutched in his

chapped, leathered


an officer stops a car,

exhaust eats the sky,

knuckles crack in the supermarket,

eyes close in the alleyway

the cats catch the mice,

the dogs eat the cats,


nothingness cloaks itself in transparent wait

for the end


all the above
but at least 

they say


you’re cute


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