Mackenzie

Across
long years I mourn
her loss –

yearn for
her laugh with each
downpour,

descry
her smile in each
short high.

Ryan Stone

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Self-portrait

And these are my failings:
a wild smile always leads my mind
to the kiss hiding behind it
and sometimes to plot
the shortest route there.

Did I say sometimes? I lie a bit, too.
And I tend to zone out to small-talk
like there aren’t already
enough idle words in the world.
I often wonder – where do they go,
those wasted words once they’re spoken?

And I can’t warm to people,
despite how I try.
I’m lying again – I don’t try at all.
I’d much rather hide
with The Boss or Miss Del Rey,
alone in the dark
drinking vodka;

ignoring that night
in my fourteenth year
when my father got drunk,
made me drive his ute home –
the soft bump and loud bark,
the crimson accusation,
coagulating on his tyre
next morning.

– Ryan Stone

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Written for National Poetry Month 2016 @ The Music In It – Failures

First published in Poppy Road Review, May 2016.

Lunch Line Metaphysics

He accepts the coffee and smiles
his best I’m more than I seem smile
at ‘You’re Being Served By Eve’

who stares right past him, or maybe
right through him, at the queue
percolating out the door.

He’s loved her each lunch break,
in a year full of lunch breaks,
from his nobody place in line–

one more grey suit
in a nondescript forest

where he knows should he fall,
he will not make a sound.

Ryan Stone

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