Cajun Mutt Press Featured Writer 02/08/21

Once and for All

Allan exits the bus
at the corner of Fifth and Thomas.
He walks two blocks north
and finds the graveyard
just where the internet
said it was.

He pulls the printout
from his coat pocket
and uses it to guide him
to the plot in question.
It’s right there, in between
an evergreen bush and
a weeping willow tree.
The grave is marked
by a flat army-issue headstone.

Allan kneels down
at the grave and
speaks his mind:

“When I heard you’d died,
my therapist told me
that doing this would
bring me closure and
a measure of peace.

Here’s where I’m
supposed to say
I forgive you for
making school
a living, daily hell
by beating the crap
out of me at
each and every chance.
I’m supposed to say
I absolve you of
the crimes of defining me,
wrongly, and haunting
my dreams for years to come.

My therapist told me
that by doing this,
it would prove,
once and for all,
that I’m better than you.”

Allan stands up
and takes a deep breath.
A slight smile tugs
the corners of his mouth.
“I’m not,” he says.

Allan unzips his fly
and takes a long, steaming piss
on the headstone.

Β©2021 Jack Phillips Lowe All rights reserved.

Jack Phillips Lowe is a proud, lifelong Chicago resident. His poems have appeared in Trajectory Magazine, Two Drops of Ink and 1870. His most recent book is Flashbulb Danger (Middle Island Press, 2018).

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