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Grey Sparrow Journal and Press, as of January 31, 2018 will move to

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Just Another Man


My sown grass is wilting before eyes.

The window is blameless

any gasp is a guilty plea

I deserve every punishment

that scowling sun may deliver.


Several women I’ve loved are on the jury.

They have met, a verdict is imminent

& all my hopes are struck from the record as perjury.

This humidity will kill me.


The real person down inside isn’t pretty.

Prison orange clashes with my tan, the

thinning hair could use some product.

Self-loathing is not the same

as emotional reparation. I’m trying again,

Dee says it counts for nothing. I’m

trying again & Rhonda thinks not hard enough.


This trial will end

or heal me. I’m the courtroom’s

flat-pack furniture, some scratches already,

assembly instructions lost, shelf stud missing

particle board 12-month-lifetime guarantee. Nothing

Georgian going on here just

another construct in a heatwave.


So I swelter in recrimination.

What purpose or gain? Personal change?

Like weight loss a perennial excuse or aspiration.

If they weren’t right I’d be a victim but

there’s an escape clause. Down by the river

other men are waiting. Few words & practical joinery tips, their

stipes or pergola kits. Prison has no walls &

they are waiting for me.

                 -Les Wicks