UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY
JUSITN HYDE

turbo

lived at
the group foster home
in ames.

he had large orange
hearing aids,
his voice came like
an echo through molasses.

they called him turbo
because every time
someone flicked a lighter
or struck a match
he'd sprint away like a quarter horse
while they all laughed.

i found myself next to him
on the city bus
sophomore year of high school.

he told me
his real name
was alex.

said he was twenty years old
and when he graduated high-school
next year
he was going to china
to find his parents.

he didn't know
their names
or where they lived.

said
he'd just start
knocking on doors. †


his checks went for craps and blowjobs at the indian casino

if i had your accent
i'd probably own my own factory,
henry told me at lunch break
in his clipped
vietnamese.

i told him:

look henry
your english isnít half bad
on top of that
youíre an intelligent guy
if i were you
i'd put in
for that third shift
supervisor position.

no
no,
he waved me off
lit another cigarette
and reached his hand
under the picnic table.

he came up with a leaf.

this is all i'm meant for,
he said
setting it on fire.


all those faces in high-school

none of them
were my friends

but
every strange
beer-bong spatula click
of the spider clock
my mind
drifts back to that time

&

a somber
gun barrel blue note
grinds slow and sad
from the gut

until
the egg timer
embedded in my ankle
runs dry
and i side-arm another empty bottle
into the brick wall of my basement

&

go back to pretending
i always planned for it to be like this:

thirty years old

drunk

broke

alone
on a tuesday
10:43am
in des moines, iowa.


Justin Hyde lives in Iowa where he works
with criminals. He has a web-page here:
http://www.nyqpoets.net/poet/justinhyde







© 2008 Underground Voices